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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    September 17, 2012
    8:00 - 1:00am EDT  

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do it again if given the chance. i'm just like my dad. just as far as the business sense and ideas about what he wants to do and have a good heart, i am not sure he always says what he should, but he is my dad. >> is it a sense of what? >> it keeps me there, but do i want my dad as the president? [laughter] it would be great. >> we have a couch. mitt romney is like my rich uncle. the man who sent you cards and money but he never comes to your parties. >> i would say an uncle. maybe one that is more connected. lawi would say like a in-
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parent. distant, not quite -- he does not come to the barbecue. >> a brother. >> because? >> i have a lot of respect for my mother -- my brother. >> who is he? >> a professor. >> a member of your family? >> a member of my family or relative. the cousin i have out west to his teaching in law school. -- who is teaching in law school. >> dickison i do not see often but i know he is well-liked. -- a cousin i do not see often. >> who is he? >> the nice guy around the
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corner you can hang out with. >> not a member of the family? >> not enough time for them. >> a cousin who does not also come to the barbecue. >> like a step dead. he has the best intentions and tries to get things done for you but cannot always do it. >> a distant cousin, probably related to the rich uncle. >> like a cousin or an uncle that no one really agrees with. >> an uncle. >> because? >> we can hang out and do things. and have fun with our kids and all that. >> to you what your brother as president? -- do you want your brother as
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president? we will make sure we do not report either of you. let me try this. you can leaves -- use the list. it have been charged -- you have been charged unjustly and you have one person to negotiate for you. who do you want? one person on this list to negotiate for you. you have been unjustly charged on something. who do you want? ? >> bill clinton. >> why do you what bill clinton? >> he can do it. >> he knows. he knows to compromise. >> he is so smooth and so smart now. >> he has modeled it himself.
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he can get you out of anything. >> i will take this as more of a -- look at the whole list here again. who is the one person you do not want to cross to have them angry at you? who is the one person you would say, i do not want that person angry at me. take a look. who is the one person i do not want on the other side angry at me? write it down. everybody right down somebody? what did you write down? >> michelle obama. >> harmony wrote down -- how many rode down michelle obama? half the group. why? >> her husband has got an army. >> she speaks with fire in her eyes. >> she would be a scary lady
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when she is mad. >> i would put paul ryan. >> i put michelle obama. i do not think it would take a lot to make her mad if you made her mad. to oprah.hat she did >> who do you want to mediate an argument between you and your spouse? who do you want to mediate between you and your spouse fax -- your spouse? an argument? >> you can we choose? -- who can we choose? >> clinton? how many said ann romney? >> she has a lot of familial experience. >> bill clinton. >> ann romney.
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>> she has a lot of experience and has been successful. >> let me try this. saturday afternoon, mitt romney has two free hours. no campaign, no anything. what do you think he is doing? with his two free hours? nothing. he has two free hours to himself. what is he doing? >> she is reviewing his investments. -- he is reviewing his investment. >> business related. what else. >> he is praying. >> i think he is getting whoever is at the house together and have some kind of competition. >> something competitive.
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what else? >> he is reviewing clips of his past performances of the previous week. >> that makes it all political. i am trying to see if there's anything else you think he is doing with two free hours? >> rating. -- reading a historical novel. >> getting the grandkids if they are around in the kitchen area. >> let's turn around. barack obama has two free hours on saturday afternoon. what is happening? >> golfing. >> he is with his daughters. several people say yes. >> watching tv, sports, with his daughters. bling basketball. what else? >> taking mashal out to a movie -- michelle @ tomah euille -- to a movie? >> to ben's chili bowl. >> ok.
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here is an idea. see what comes to your mind. sunday dinner, ann happens to be away. mitt is going to invite four people over to dinner. who was coming over for dinner? it cannot be anyone related to the campaign or the vice presidential candidate. have toyou think he'll dinner. right down and you have one idea that is good or several ideas. who do you think is coming to dinner? who is he asking to dinner? ok. >> neighbors. >> who else? >> cnn reporters. >> sons and grandson's.
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kids. >> anybody else? secretary of the treasury and some of the senate leaders. >> anybody else? ceo of something. >> ok. >> same sunday evening. michelle and the kids are gone. barack obama can have dinner with four people. who was having -- who is he having dinner with? >> not netanyahu. [laughter] >> anybody else? everybody got an idea? >> biden. >> no campaign, no vice- presidential. who is coming? >> for your nba players -- four
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nba players. >> four of his friend from chicago he has not had a beer with in a while. >> who is coming? >> the same ideal. lebron james. the nba. >> his daughters. >> mary? >> motherlode -- mother-in-law. >> you read way too much. anybody else have any thing? >> academics and small business. >> ok. let me switch. that is good. great job. let me switch if i could. and ask you what are the qualities you most admire about mitt romney? >> discipline. >> he seems poised and unflappable.
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>> work ethic. it seems like he has a strong work ethic. >> what else? >> business acumen. what else you -- do you respect? >> he has a history of working with [inaudible] >> experience and ethics. >> good. ok, good. ok. and, finish this sentence. here is what bugs me about mitt romney. here is what really bugs me about mitt romney. will go around the table. here is what really bugs me about mitt romney. >> indecisive. >> he speaks before he thinks. >> the opposite. he is to reserved. too reserved.
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>> he is an opportunist. >> stiff. professionala campaigner but he is not very good at it. >> and ability to clearly communicate. -- inability to clearly communicate. and stiff. >> very wealthy. >> dan. i could keep going around. if you could give mitt romney one quality, from a former republican president, reagan,
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bush 41, bush 43, what quality would you want to give him? if you could give him one quality? i will go round. one quality, everyone wrote -- write it down so you can know. and for the camera, i will start with raj and go counterclockwise. >> leadership. >> if you could take one call the from of former president. -- one quality from a former president. >> humanity of george w. bush. >> less government. of bush the first. >> the straight talker of ronald reagan. >> bush no. 2's flexibility. ability to light
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a fire under the people of the united states. >> the ability to make himself look newble. >> rec and's ability to be a perceived forced to be -- reagan's ability to be perceived as a force to be reckoned with. >> the ability to persevere. >> there are ten qualities from reagan i would like to assign to him. consistency. shoot from the hip to give him less stiffness. >> and tell me something. if you could have -- get him to answer one question that would help you feel more confident about voting, what is the question you would want to ask mitt romney?
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let me get some of the others. what you -- what would you want to tell from mitt romney that would help you, maybe i could support him? >> i would like to see something that resembles a business plan. >> that he has a backup plan. just to do something but cannot get it passed congress, how're you going to do it? >> >> i would like to know his details on his tax reform plan. >> i am with her on that one. that see a plan and how they think is going to work. >> same thing. the plan but how he will grow the economy.
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>> i would like to hear the plan as well specifically from him. >> ok, good. >> how does he plan to get anyone in the country to like him? >> with everyone else, a plan. a plan on taxes, the economy. >> without a plan that you can see, what is your concern? because you have not seen the plan so far. what concerns you? why is this so critical for you? >> should he be reelected? >> it seems to me there were several people who talk about i want to see his plan and i want to know why is this so critical to you? why do you care? >> i feel that his record speaks for itself and we can compare
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the record of the last four years and that is one view. the other view is it would be nice if he can tease out a plan and it will happen by the second debate. that you have a better picture of his plan. >> >> i am trying to get the people who say any to say a plan. -- see a plan. >> he claims to be a businessman. you make a plan, create a plan, plans change but at least things move forward or in direction once it is put into place. >> others? >> nothing but a big corporation for big business. you can go to the bank and ask for money without any kind of business plan. how can you get it done? >> anybody else? >> to follow with that. a would like to see the plan so
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we can make a decision if that is the plan we want to follow. what is the alternative? let me know, let me make an honest decision based on what i see. >> i wonder if paul ryan will be the one who will be in charge of the whole changing the medicine, the medicare part. romney has had the experience as a governor in massachusetts with trying to do something with medical insurance. >> does that concern you? yes. i would like to see him more involved instead of having paul ryan out there all the time. >> i am hoping to bring up a couple of didi's so we can look at some statements.
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one other thing. give me three adjectives that describe barack obama. >> inspiring.
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smart. overconfident. >> strong. >> overconfident. cool, smart, overconfident. >> let me turn -- have us look at a couple of clips if we could and i start with ann romney. each from their convention speech. watch and give me a quick reaction after you have seen it. >> if you use the arrows.
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>> i read somewhere that i had a storybook marriage. let me tell you, in the store books i read, there were never long rainy afternoon in the house with five boys screaming at once and they never seem to have a chapter called "ms or breast cancer." what we have is a real marriage. [applause] i know the good and decent man for what he is. he is warm and loving and patient. he has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on faith and love of one's
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fellow man. i have seen him spend countless hours helping others. i have seen him drop everything to help a friend in trouble and then there when late-night calls come from a member of our church whose child is in a hospital. you may not agree with his positions are politics. massachusetts is 13% republican so it is not like it is a shock to me. [laughter] let me say this to every american who is thinking about who should be our next president. no one will work harder. no one will care more, and no one will [inaudible] to make this country a better place to live. >> she wants us to love him. >> your impression? >> of her.
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>> elegant and well spoken. a perfect first lady. >> she is an incredible woman and to raise that many boys, i can only imagine. i think that she speaks the truth, all the wonderful thing she says about him. >> dedicated asset. >> she loves her husband and her family. that is obvious. >> and feels that he has what it takes. >> how does she add to your impressions about mitt romney? >> makes him seem more human. >> adds an element of reality. >> she is an asset. >> a real person, not a robot. >> she sees something that we have yet to see.
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>> she is more private. hard for him to open up in public. >> anybody else? i also have a clip of mitt romney and i will have us look at that now. >> i am running for president to help create a better future. a future where everyone who wants a job can find a job. where no senior fears for the security of their retirement and america -- an america where every parent knows their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon. i have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. [applause]
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paul ryan and i have 5 steps. by 2020, north america will be energy independence by taking full a bandage of -- advantage of our oil and gas and [inaudible] [applause] we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. when it comes to the school that your child will attend, every parent should have a choice and every child will have a chance. we will made trade workf for
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america. and when nations cheat at trade, there will be unmistakeable consequences. and fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in america will not vanish as has those in greece. we will cut the deficit and put america on track to a balanced budget. [cheers and applause] we will champion small businesses, america's engine of job growth. reducing taxes on business, not raising them. it means modernizing the regulations that hurts small business and we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of health care
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by repealing and replacing obamacare. president obama promised to begin the rise of the oceans. -- slow the rise of the oceans. [applause] and to heal the planet. my promise is to help you and your family. >> ok. reaction. what do you think, what was your thought, he talked about different ideas. what do you think about that? >> it sounds all good, but it's just -- it is all talk. nothing about how he will get it done. >> what did you think? >> how are you going to do that? to some of his points. >> what did you think as you
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watched? >> been a geologist and working in the oil industry, the first point sets things up and if you do take back the regulations, all the other steps easily fall into place. making us independent will be the greatest thing for the country and he is the one that is pushing back. all the other things fall into place. >> what do you think as you saw this? >> for every one of the points he made, i felt like there was a subtext. someone will get richer and it will trickle down to you. >> what did you think? >> i want someone getting richer because it does trickle down. i agree with ben. under obama, the epa has put some money roadblocks on the economy. if you get rid of some of those
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roadblocks, the economy would do better. >> what did you think? >> i like he did not promise to balance the budget. he said on track to balancing the budget so that is a bit more realistic. >> did you feel more solidity toward romney? you felt you were leaning? does this make you feel closer or i am still in the same place. >> it justifies where he is. over.ig far >> what do you think? >> i hate that 12 million jobs. some of the things were going on nicely but 12 million bits seems like -- i know we need 12 million. how is he going to do that? i understand there are lots of ways but it seems like such -- >> dave. >> i want to see the jobs first. that has been my biggest
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complaint. you have the jobs cut on the forefront. the thing that always sticks with me is education -- the education plan and i do support that choice. the current president supports it. it is not a big deal anymore. those are the things that stuck out to me. >> anybody else? >> trade agreements. >> what is this man going to do about china? >> i have not heard him say that once. >> this man meeting -- >> brahney. >> -- -- romney. >> he was not speaking to me. >> let me turn and do barack obama. three adjectives to describe him.
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give me an adjective. >> school. >> cool. >> airtran. >> why? >> the way he has his presence and he is a great speaker. he is so convincing but when you see that things have not happened, it is a feeling i get. he can say it and glasshoff that we're going to believe. it seems arrogant. >> i would say strong. >> overconfident and it has to do with mary's comment. very well said. great intent. >> too radical but not practical. >> inspiring but more on coal. -- cool. >> his cool -- where does this
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leave you as you think about him in his reelection? >> that is what has me thinking that i am not as in favor of him as i was. it is leaving me disappointed. i am not just single out, want to see. >> the outcome is what? >> more jobs. the economy improving at a quicker rate that and has. -- than it has? >> where does that leave pamela? >> as far as my vote? >> i am trying to understand. >> i do not believe a man in that position can get much done in four years and there is a part of me that still wants to give him a chance because i think he had some great ideas and because of his confidence, i was hoping against all hope.
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he is a relatively young and new in the game, romney is not. in four years he might get the hang of it. >> a very good talker and i voted for him. he has not accomplished what he said he was going to. that is why i am undecided. >> he talks a good game, but he is hesitant in action.
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>> biggest accomplishment, write it down. first four years. we will start with ben. 10 seconds each. >> health care. >> i need more time. >> health care. >> getting people involved. >> bin laden. bin laden. >> health care. >> bin laden. >> health care. >> health care is the biggest accomplishment. how many say i see that as a positive accomplishment? and it is a big accomplishment because? >> uninsured. that is a big one. to get that done.
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however he got it done, it is a big deal. >> children are able to be insured logger when they are in college. >> he let the secretary of defense not have that kind of coverage for military children for a number of months, almost a year. >> any healthcare? >> i think it was a big deal as far as accomplishment. i cannot get my head around what it means. >> biggest disappointment. >> the economy. like of direction. >> health care again. >> the debt ceiling.
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>> unemployment. >> the deficit. >> the economy. >> tell me one thing. finish the sentence. here is what really bugs me about barack obama. >> there are so many things. his arrogance. friendly but not arrogant. >> he flicks the badass switch twice a year. >> the resources heat through to the unions. >> his hesitancy about things like a tree when he did not show up for more than two weeks. -- katrina. >> washington is more partisan now than before.
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>> i am in 100% with carlina, they were not able to come to an agreement. >> his inexperience. >> the stimulus going to the places that it did. >> scary future if he gets elected. >> anybody want to give him a quality from a former president? >> lyndon johnson, i would make him a politician. >> get something passed. >> skills regulation. >> sam rayburn. >> he [inaudible] >> anybody else?
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thank you. et's see if we can get up the -- system. fine hadned robert's and to make this work. great system but it needs a little help. >> i read somewhere that i have a storybook marriage. >> could we go back to the menu? we will go to michelle.
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we will first hear from michelle. >> barack knows the american dream because he has lived it. and he wants everyone in this country, everyone to have the same opportunity matter who we are or where we are from or what we look like or how we love. [cheers and applause] and he believes that when you work hard and have done well, and walk through that doorway of opportunity, if you do not slum it shut behind you. you reach back and you give other folks the same chances for
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help that you received. [cheers and applause] when people ask me whether being in the white house has changed my husband, i can honestly say that when it comes to his character and his convictions and his heart, barack obama is still the same man i fell in love with all those years ago. he is the same man who started his career by turning down high- paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where the steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get those back to work because for barack obama, expensive -- expense is not about how much money you make, it is the difference to make in people's lives.
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>> reaction. dave? >> just as far as what she was talking about what he did after graduation, that strikes home. that means a lot to me. but it is not necessarily -- i do not know how much school that he has as opposed to the other people that things sticks with me. >> she is relatable. the fact they have had hard times and he has had to work his way up and was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. and the commitment and dedication she has is a plus. >> polish. >> any other feeling? >> she is not telling us why we should vote for him and she reminded me of the fact i had not thought about it but hearing that reminds me of the fact he has never had a job.
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>> i have heard it before and it seemed very similar to 2008 but it does not have the same effect on me that it did back then. >> i felt like both conventions were political infomercials. >> infomercial. i did not watch. what did you think? >> there was no denying the connection she had with the crowd. >> i felt like i whether it is one degree of separation i feel like she is someone i would know personally. >> ok, let me have you watched part of barack obama's speech. >> when all is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to
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vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. over the next few years, big decisions will be made in washington on jobs, the economy, taxes, and deficits, energy, education, war and peace. decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children's lives for decades to come. and on every issue, the choice you face will not just be between two candidates or two parties, it will be a choice between two different paths for america. a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future. restore thefight to values that builds the largest middle-class and the strongest economy the world has ever known. [applause] the values my grandfather
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defended as a soldier in patton's army, the values that drew my grandmother on -- to work on the bomber assembly line when he was gone. they knew they were part of something larger, a nation that tramped over fascism and depression, were the most innovative businesses turned out the world's best products, and everyone shared in that pride and success from the corner office to the factory floor. my grandparents were given the chance to go to college, to buy their own home, and fulfil the basic bargain at the heart of america's story. the promise that hard work will pay off. the responsibility will be rewarded and everyone gets a fair shot. everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules from main street to wall street, to washington, d.c. >> ok. let me ask your reaction to
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that. >> he said a lot of things everyone agrees with. it was not saying this is what i think. it is in general so you are like, i agree 85% of the time. it is what it comes to my personal -- the romney would do a better job with what you're talking about. -- mitt romney would do a better job with what you are talking about. if you wanted to vote for him, it would make you want to vote for him more but if you are leaning toward mitt romney, it pushes you more toward mitt romney. >> pamela. you are not leaning one way or another. >> he is right about the issues and the categories and it will be a difficult choice because there is a lot we have to fix. but, you know, everyone gets a fair shot at a fair share. life is not fair. across the board, it is just not fair. there again, he is overconfident and unrealistic. it gives me the creeps.
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>> that was the past. what about tomorrow? >> what do you need to hear from him about tomorrow? >> what is our plan? we're in a quagmire. how're we going to get out of this? >> what i would like to hear, one candidate, i do not care what party they are from say, i do not know what to do and why it don't you help me? help me figure it out. let's get the people involved again. let's hear what you have to say. that is why i am loving this event. >> i felt the speech there was a level of humility there. it was as almost -- begging would be too harsh. he was trying to talk to me
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about, i know you were enthusiastic the first time, would you do it again? i was not sure again, if he can complete the plan as he presented it. things. tw -- are two the idea that he pulled himself about of nothing and he was raised by single mother and all this. he did have a single mother but he went to the best schools the nation has to offer. he went to columbia, harvard. he is not everyone -- like everyone else and this idea that he has come up from the bottom. no. he had supported people behind him the whole way who put him through the best way possible. and the second thing is his inability to compromise or to work with people. i said lbj because lbj did the great society and was able to talk to people and convince
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people, you may have grown up this way but that is not fair. it is not fair that you get great schooling in this person does not. he found a way to get people to get on board. he has not been able to do that yet. it bothers me. >> communistic. everyone needs to have everything equal. everyone gets everything. >> that is not right. >> some people work for their grades, other people flowed along. life is like that. and to see that everyone deserves the same is not right. >> what did you think? >> i thought his speech was ok. it had a hard time living up to the one that took place the night before. and you definitely get the sense that there was a shadow he was trying to step out of there. but i also just to touch on an
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earlier point, it is difficult to reach across the aisle when every time you tried to reach across, it gets bitten by a pit bull. that has been what has happened over the last four years. >> let me hear from christine and married. >> i was disappointed by his use of the word "ours." i do not like the idea of us versus them. it was similar to what he did in 2008 but this time my eyes were open more wide. it was nothing concrete. >> i wanted to be inside but was not -- excited because i was not. it felt like i wanted to say, where's the beef? there is something missing here. >> anybody else?
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i have a couple of other things that want to discuss. one thing i have heard, the whole question of medicare. redoing medicare. is that good or bad, does it make any difference? is this an opportunity or something that would be a challenge? anybody have any feelings? >> something has got to be done, regardless. to be put on the right track. >> we need to have the same thing that most people here will be entitled to. there does need to be a change that does not take away things like for my parents who are banking on social security but we cannot live in a false reality that i will be able to get it. it needs to be something, what is. >> the years need to be adjusted.
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65 cannot be the golden goose. we live a lot longer. >> as i understand it, does anybody know about the plan that mitt romney and paul ryan are expressing? >> i wish i did. >> they were saying there would raise the social security age to 75 but -- >> does anybody have any idea about the medicare program about romney-ryan, the details have been limited. >> money will be assigned to states and the states will do what they think is best for their state. >> it sounds to me like -- >> i am 60 and it will not
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affect my generation. these changes are going to affect future generations. >> anyone under the age of 55 will be affected. >> when they talked about changing things before, they said they looked at 20-40 -- at 2040. and the politics came out, they will take away grandma's nest egg. >> from what i understand, friends have a problem dock -- finding doctors that will see them. with a voucher, the doctors -- the like money. there is no voucher. if you say you are on medicare, they do not have room for you. i have a friend who had to visit six different doctors to get an appointment. >> any discomfort -- how many
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say i do not know enough to have an opinion? that is basically everyone around the room. that is interesting. how about obamacare? does anyone have any sense of how a president romney would handle it and how it would change? how many say i do not now? -- not know? >> i know bits and pieces but my whole thing is, there is this issue about pre-existing conditions. when i lost my job, i was able to pay into -- our company had less than 50 employees. for three months, i was allowed to pay the cover price and health insurance privacy protection act allows you to go out and look for your own
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insurance and pay for it yourself but because i had a pre-existing condition, the policy that i was going to go into had a $3,000 deductible and it was $600 a month. because hippa allows you to have this pre-existing condition and get insurance, it did not see anything about having to pay $10,000. it is a gamble. i am trying to figure out if this new particular -- how that is going to affect people who do have pre-existing conditions, is there going to be a price difference? the internet says it is not. it will be a flat line price. i would like to see it in action. >> here is what fascinates me. you have done great, a marvelous job tonight. i think you so much but here is what fascinates me. you want a plan and yet i would
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have to say at this moment, a lot of this is not coming through to you. you do not have any sense necessarily what president obama wants to do or what governor romney wants to do. is that true? >> true. >> you have a debate coming up very soon. what do you want to hear from them? what do they have to tell you? pamela, i am president obama. i am dying for your vote. charlie, i am governor romney, i am dying for your vote. mary, i am both candidates. you were saying you were genuinely undecided. you seem fairly committed. aj's committed toward president obama. i think you're, also.
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-- you are, also, you talk about where you are at interposition in life and you talked about this debate coming up and your disappointments with president obama and your uncertainties about mitt romney. how do you decide what you need to hear in this debate? that is what it is about. what do you need to hear? >> i cannot answer what you're asking me to do. i am hoping which is probably really stupid on my part that somebody is going to pull something incredible out of the air that no one has thought about before and we're all going to go, yes. it is totally unrealistic. >> as long as you admit it. and so, given your situation
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where you're at, what will help you decide? clearly, there are things about mitt romney you do not like, there are things about barack obama that you are not happy with. there are things that make them each interesting. how do you decide? >> it is going to be emotional, i can tell you that. you're asking me what they're going to say to me. instead of being an emotional feeling based on something they say that rings true with regard to humanity, the struggles, a realistic opinion about what it is, we as americans as a whole need to achieve. i can -- tend to want to hear about global foreign policy because again, it is not just us here in the united states. i want to hear something -- obama has had this much
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experience. that is why i want to know who their visors work. that would influence my vote tremendously. >> mary, you have been terribly supportive and terribly critical and terribly realistic also. >> i want some answers and i realize in the debate, it is not reasonable to think that you are going to get a plan. i also feel like if there is some structure with how you're going to do this, what is going to look like and how are you going to put it together? it is very worrisome. obama cannot get people to work with him. romney has a piece that is essential with his strong business background so to get the economy moving forward, what are you going to do?
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>> when i watched both the conventions, when i watched the first one, was all for mitt romney. it is just hard. hard to decide. i know it is important. >> you're going to get one of them. >> the one thing that has not come up is women's health and women's rights. >> who do you think will be better on women's health and women's rights, just instinctively? >> obama. >> does that make a difference to you? >> yes. one part of it. >> here you are with these marvelous observations and we have sam rayburn floating in here.
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tell me where your at and what is the -- you are at and what is the point at which you come out on all this. >> at the debate i would like to see how well they talk on their feet. without stumbling over a number of things. let's not have someone say, i knew jack kennedy and your not him. let's have them be prepared with some rudimentary concrete plans. and give us an inkling of where they would like the country to go and how they think they might be able to do it. >> who did you vote for four years ago? >> john mccain.
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>> what about this time around? >> i am interested because i think we are in such a quagmire. i am interested in hearing what both sides have to say, especially if we can get down to the nitty gritty. >> what about those who would say it is time to stay with obama versus going with mitt romney? >> i would like to see them reform the department of education, the epa, and i would really take a look at some of the laws on the books that are outdated or religious put out so someone can make a lot of money -- or really put out so someone can make a lot of money. good >> i have listened to you for two hours. you can say you are undecided,
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but i have only heard one side, so why won't romney get your vote? >> i am leaning more towards romney, i guess, and part of it is from what i saw on the tv. based on what some of the people are saying, i am leaning a little towards romney, and i think it is because i feel trephine -- trick by obama. i voted for him. i believe in him. i thought he had a great platform, but he has not accomplish that much. good obamacare, i am very much hurt for universal health care, but i feel tricked. it is more of a tax, and one area i feel tricked on is he
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said he does not want to raise taxes for people who make less than $250,000. i make a lot less than $250,000, and i am paying a lot more in taxes. they are taking money out of my pocket. the value of the dollar goes down and the price of gasoline goes up. that is basic economics, and to me that is a tax. >> i am going to go around the table for final comments. thank you very much. it is important to note their work, and it is so eliminating and so helpful, and i can feel everything you are going through, and i am equally fascinated. pamela, i can hear the struggle where you are, and each of you are a rising at this in a fascinating way, but my final question is going to be that you
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can deliver one message, and do not say, give me a plan. i got it. there is one thing you would like to be able to deliver, and as i mentioned, the media is watching all this. any message you say this is what i would like the candidates to know as they go into the final month and a half. i will start with ben. what is the message? >> the job creation is the most important thing going for the country right now. >> you feel you know what mitt romney is going to do for job creation? >> i think his plan really shows where he is aiming. >> i want to hear that he cares about his generation and my younger sons generation.
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i want to hear they are thinking forward and care about what these people are going to have to deal with when they are my age. >> the you feel one of the candidate speaks to you better, that understands where you are and where your kids are act? >> i would have to say romney. >> romney becomes closer to me because? >> he seems more realistic. he understands business and possibly how we could make the economy work, which would automatically fix or guarantee something for down the road. it would create a spiral. >> i am going for the lesser of evils. obama is already in there, and hopefully he is heading in the right direction than getting
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romney in there and starting fresh. >> who did you vote for four years ago? >> john mccain. >> so you are starting fresh. >> there is so much confusion, and what i want to know is how can you speak straight up to the american people so we understand what is going to be on the platform, what is it you're a good >> who did you vote for four years ago? >> obama. vice with president obama already being in office, -- >> with president obama already been in office, continue your plan, and then we will evaluate where we are, and i will determine whether i would go democrat again. >> you voted for years ago for?
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>> mccain. >> what are you thinking? >> it reminds me of the two- headed monster on sesame street where they are pulling each other at the end, but they get back together by cooperation and collaboration. >> who is the cooperation candidates? >> is that answer of oable? i would like to think romney is triggered strikes you would like to think rahm -- i would like to think romney is. >> you would like to think romney? >> he would like to do more wheeling and dealing in business. >> romney had your votes from the beginning. you are a mccain voter four years later, why doesn't he have in? it should be locked down.
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>> it should be locked down, and i cannot tell you what it is in the back of my mind, and part of it has to do with the republican platform and women's health issues, which should not be an issue. >> i want to see some good answers in the debate. i do not want to see a bunch of name calling. i want to see candidates lay on the line what they are going to do and not be diverted by political questions. good i want to hear what they are going to do, and the candidate who gives me that i will vote for them. >> christina you voted for years ago for? >> barack obama. >> you are staying with him? >> a exactly.
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>> you are staying with him because? >> i think a lot of social issues and women's health issues are making it hard to move towards the republican platform, but i do like a lot of things on the republican platform. i think men romney, one of the things he has going for him is he has a history of working with the other party, and that is what we need right now, but part of me cannot get over the other little things. >> other little things being? issues,s' health comm, gay the right for everyone to marry. those things hold me back. >> a.j.? >> romney has bought everything he ever wanted. i was really hoping there would be a good alternative. if there was a mccain-type
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character this year or even bob dolan and not -- if there were a couple of guys on the republican ticket fed did not heard my sensibilities i would be closer to the middle, but it is not he has basically bought his way into the nomination and has picnic the extreme right to shore up his base. >> susan? -- he has picked the extreme right to shore up his base. >> susan? >> i would like the one who is successful in business running the country. >> four years ago you voted for? >> both candidates. >> how did you do that? >> i voted for mccain in the primary and barack obama in the general election. i was a mccain supporter in
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2000, and i got turned off when we got to the general election. i'd tell me why you are leaning toward seven. >> i want to see hammond works for both sides, but -- i want to see him work for both sides, but obama is the lesser of two evils right now. >> i think nationally security will be stronger. i think it is the republican congress, and it will be less gridlock if we have a republican president. >> we have covered it. we have covered the world.
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we have got only two weeks left. stay involved. there is a lot going on here, and these are exactly the things the candidates need to hear, so i want to thank each and everyone of you for joining us, and we will see where it goes from here. thank you all very much. >> thank you. >> it was enjoyable. >> thank you very much. >> my pleasure. >> thank you very much.
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great job. thank you. good luck. have a great marriage. thank you for being here. i appreciate it. thank you all. and taiex live coverage of a focus group in fairfax, va. -- >> live coverage of a focus group in fairfax, va., one of the battleground states. we want to promote our phone lines because we want to get your reaction. if you watch the focus group, what did you learn from peter hart and these undecided voters, 12 selected by hart research h?ont
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if you are independent, the number to call is -- we are also getting reaction on our twitter page. watching this group to discuss their impression of the candidates, tell us what you learn tonight. we are going to let you listen to some of the questions with reporters. and we will come back with more of your phone calls. first let's go to carry joining us from philadelphia. >> i did watch the focus group, and i was amazed how uninformed .he group appeared to bee i got the impression they are not receiving information from their elected officials, because
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they are not on the policies. i was a little alarmed at the makeup of the group as well. >> what would you have wanted to see? >> i wanted to see more african- american representation. >> we will go to mike in virginia beach, republican line, go ahead please. caller: what i found fascinating is everyone in the room wanted to hear a plan, and if romney can go into the debate with a solid plan, there are several who brought up medicare. good paul ryan said, look at what happened to my running mate. we are going to solve the problems, and here is how we are going to do it.
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>> peter hart is going to get questions from a number of political reporters. let's listen in. >> i am always surprised we spend all of our time talking to voters, and the undecided voters that are still at this point, agonizing, going back and forth. one woman said she was one way and then another convention she was another way. it is hard to understand because most people are decided from birth, and these are people who are at sea. >> i should state that is why i brought them into the room. we know what 90% of americans are, and we could have brought them in, and it would be exactly
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what we have seen, and i wanted to try to look at that 10%. some people turn out to be a little more decided, but overall, your point is these people are anguishing but in many cases because neither candidate fulfills where their vision is. >> you have a group of people who feel the economy is getting better, and they had a very good things to say about the economy and how optimistic they are, and then they said, i do not know if i should vote for obama again, so he is obviously getting zero credit. >> i am struck by the fact that compared to the one in a walkie, they are certainly no more than those, and then you have these tremendous gaps, and they did not have a clue.
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>> what do people know about obamacare? >> they got the point about kids being covered and pre-existing conditions, so the ones who have experienced knew why they like it, but how much has ever won written about medicare and brian's plan, about vouchers termina? they are a more educated group now. >> what about a women's health care? if you watch tv, that is what has been dominating. >> that is what struck me, how hard it is for candidates and people who work for them to penetrate, because a lot of things happen. beenlot of plans have
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offered, and they are not aware of them. >> i was surprised with how little they knew. they should know more than they agreed on. >> i thought this group was more aware of things that had been going on in the campaign. more than any group i have ever watch. it was staggering the familiarity they had, and what kills us is they want specifics, they want a plan, but that is not what is going to affect them. it is going to be emotional. they said a lot about the few people who are really undecided. 60% of them are not undecided or are pretty close to being undecided, so you are down to a small number of people, and they are looking for something, and
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it is going to get them or not. >> in the and you had the impression they do not want a plan. they are longing for a plan, but they do not want it. >> i thought they would observe a lot of campaign talking points. he does not have a plan. that is what it sounds like to a lot of people. >> you have thoughts? >> i thought people were not as undecided as they think they are, and it became pretty evident as the group went on. >> one of the things that interested me this it is almost said you had to look at the threads to be able to see the pattern, and if you stop and listen from the beginning, the
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first thing you learned is the economy is better, and if you're the president of the united states, that has to be good news. these people have gotten a lot of messages out of the last week, that it was not like now last week was something no one had seen. for people it created a difficulty in terms of mitt romney, and then at the end you have got another thread of women's health issues and all of those things, so there are a whole bunch of things they told you, but then there were telling you another story, which is the story of the you wish barack obama listened? i wish he was not that certain.
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now they want a certain humility, a sense of pushing people common so you have got both sides, and the other thing that fascinated me is the strength of the two women. clearly when we went around the room and talked about michelle obama you could feel the room light up and how unbelievably respected and effective she was, but then we got to the film, all of a sudden you recognize that enron they clearly represents inner strength, that she brings realism. she did everything her husband has not done and has not been able to get to. >> i think if you voted on the 22nd amendment they would have repealed if you're a good the clinton and michelle obama ticket for the united states, i think that came through.
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the bloom is very much off the rose on obama, and i think the formulation and now is the question is the faction, and they are somewhere in between, and you can see if it is pervasive, and the question is defection. i am angry, but i am not going to do it. she to me was quintessential. a fact of these people got so much out of the conventions -- they really a sort of so much, region in re -- they really absorbed so much.
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>> it was hard to see, because we did not have the tabulation, but if you do a net balance, it does not seem it is going to end up as a big romney game. praxair was one person here who had been for mccain and definitely was for obama. that one, who was not really undecided. >> he liked obamacare, and one of them said he thought obama was his brother, but there was all kinds of affection for obama, and then there was one who said it would be the worst day of his life is obama got reelected. >> i think from my point of view i happen to agree with mark.
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in the last session i did in milwaukee, michelle was this quintessential voter who you could see the struggle of what was going on common-law -- going on, and i thought mary was much the same. they are going through the same kind of struggle, yet if barack obama wins, he is going to win the election. if he loses these women, and it is going to be difficult to tout. -- difficult to sell. i think mary is undecided, and i think anne is undecided. >> is she quintessential, because i thought it was interesting that she was very emotional. she was very emotional, and all
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she said was about the gut feeling. in the end she said, i am leaning towards mitt romney. in favor of obama, he is young -- >> if you also voted for mccain, it turned out. >> she is in support of obama. in the end she said, i am leaning towards romney. this side did not get. >> this is the greatness of a focus group, so if you are going to ask for something to be totally irrational, do not talk to them. when you go through the complexities, that is why you need to hear, and i do not think every question is e. qualcomm on -- is equal, and you see romney with all the problems he had at the beginning of the campaign. none of these have disappeared.
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they still remain, but do not miss his strength, which is he is a businessman. he may be able to solve the economy. he just has not done it at this stage. >> what problems do you think obama has solved? >> that is the important thing. he has got more of the message across, and there is a psychological sense america is better than it was. as barack obama done what he needs to do? no, because he has not given the voters a sense of a second term, and there is that other element. in 1980, the voters were mad. it was not a good economy, and i
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said to clinton at the time, if these people can give you a slap across the face, they will, but if they knew they were the final vote between deciding to re- elect you or not, they would re- elect utah mine -- real life -- re-elect you, and there is some of that going on. it is not all of those things, and he needs some way for the voters to feel there has been some learning process, and i thought he did some of it very well at the convention, but i think he has left too much on the table right now. >> how does he strike you compare to the other ones? >> i have not seen the other
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ones you have done this year. it struck me as not that bad for obama. there was good will, but i also thought of is this man had some strength to it, so that impressed me. >> definitely the one you did in denver, where there were weather-related questions and there was early spring for most people. the graph you put up, most people thought it was the economy. this is the area of the economy that has been touched by the downturn. there was a lot in northern virginia about that. everybody talked about the desire for bipartisanship, cooperation. that seemed to be one of the themes, a gridlock. there was a lot of forgiveness
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toward obama looking at congress said you found in normal, and the wisconsin one was so downbeat it was like another country. that was a month ago? >> i also thought in terms of perceptions of the president and congress, there was a belief expressed by a number of people but in one way or another he does not know what to do about this, and this question if he is faced with the republican congress in the second term, what will he do? >> talking about lbj. >> what surprised me, they were all mentioned in the economy as the main problem, but at the same time they were all talking about foreign politics, so it surprised me the event of the
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last few days. backs it defined romney in a very negative light. i was fascinated by this. it put him into a spot like that was uncomfortable. >> i do not think it was as much foreign policy as it was insight into romney, and they saw it, and they found that appealing and attractive. it was a cheap shot. it did not show presidential restraint. it reminded me of gary hart. the airliner was shot down with congressmen macdonald, and he asked what he would do, and he said, i would put the jets and look in the windows, and it was such a silly answer before he decided to shoot it down.
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it was a stupid answer, and romney has the same kind of disqualifying -- >> it is interesting. the three who were really undecided common and two of them voted for mccain. faxon it is not a statistic. >> the point is they are going both ways. taiex i will take final thoughts. likes a lot of people said obama is just the lesser of two evils. they know they are going to get to the ballot box, and they are going to say, no one lived up to what i asked him to live up to,
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so who is the guy who is not that bad? >> i think the women's issues may affected. >> i would say susan did not pay much attention. america is a business. it is not a big family. that is a bold statement. >> can you find out why obama took two weeks to go to katrina? >> i think it is great restraint when someone says something like that. good >> i think this is a reminder of why that surveyed in big.mber is so vagu >> they need help, but there is an awful lot going into this
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debate these people know, and it is the question they have been trying to get answered through the selection, and there are larger questions rather than turning into exclamation points. thank you, everyone. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> as peter hart the briefs through corridors, we want to get your reaction independence -- get your reaction. we also have a line for independence. this is a focus group designed
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to elicit responses from undecided voters or those leaning towards the president or mitt romney. it is not an official toll, but it is a chance to clean the attitude of voters. this is one of a series of focus groups conducted. from our twitter page, one of our viewers said, i realize idealism is dead in our country. a lot of negativity, which is sad to see. good evening, thank you 4 waiting. >> i agree with peter hart that a lot of voters in this focus group have already decided, and i was surprised by that, and
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undecided, and people mostly it not all the way make up their mind on who to vote for, so the main thing they want is more specifics from the candidates. good >> we will go to sam in new york city. good evening. what did you learn tonight? >> i want to say obama is the greatest president this country has had in my lifetime. he has achieved universal health care. he repealed "don't ask, don't tell". he said he would kill osama bin laden, and he did. despite the party that has attempted to stop his efforts, he helps the 99%. good >> we have our republican . did you have a chance to watch this? >> yes.
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good who >> what did you learn? >> i have learned this country is falling apart. they are afraid for the future. across the pond they are laughing at us, and the people interviewed thought to be in the senate and not the senators that are there. they are far more afraid and worried about the country and the people they love, and i thank you. >> you can join us on our twitter page. and this, i wonder if any of the candidates are listening. christie is on the phone in north carolina. good evening. what did you learn to night? >> i learned basically the focus group was not a total representation of america.
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i also learned obama has no credit on anything as far as health care or things of that nature, and when he ran for office in 2008, it was said this is not going to be a one-term deal. there are things to be done that is not going to take one term, and no one is giving him credit for working on that. he did health care. obamacare helps a lot of people. i was confused by people saying he was not an ordinary person. there are a lot of people that can get into ivy league colleges. he is a regular american. everybody has the opportunity to get into an ivy league school,
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and i thought they did not give him any credit. >> one of our viewers saying mitt romney should be winning eight of these voters, and he is not, which explains why he is losing appearing good -- why he is losing. >> usually i like everything you do. i think this is sick. peter hart is so liberal it is not funny. i think this is pathetic. all those journalists, they are so liberal. it is liberal, liberal, liberal. are you going to not do a nservative group? i think this is sick. when that gal from nbc was going on about women's problems, does america understand -- romney says on abortion he told what he wants to do, but nobody talks
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about what the president did. he wrote the bill in chicago. he wants partial birth abortions were they risk of brain out, an arm or a leg. he wants little babies if it is of a botched abortion, just throw them off the side. this is ok? 23 million people are off to work, and that woman said, obama said this would not be a one- term thing, but she had better throwback. obama did say, if i cannot get people to work it is going to be one term. our dollar has lost 20 cents to the pound and 15 cents to the euro. yes, this is great. come on. >> we will talk to one of the reporters in just a moment, but first, our independent line.
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what did you learn tonight? >> most of them did not do their own homework. most of the opinions they were giving it was not very well informed. they said it took two weeks to show up at katrina, what about president sir shawerma -- president bush? if we are going to vote, we need to read up on this. we all need to be informed. we need to know more about romney and president obama. it is putting this country in danger when we are just going and voting with a motion. >> thanks for the call. one of those reporters in the
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room, neil king from fairfax, virginia. thanks for sticking around and sharing your thoughts with us. let me ask you as you dissect this focus group, would you do with this information? how you proceed? a >> we spend a lot of time traveling around and seeing things up close in various places, following the candidates. we do a lot of looking at polls so you get the alternate aerial view, and you come to a focus group like this, and it is a totally different experience. this is a table where peter hart intentionally gathered voters from a key county and a key state. fairfax county is a classic swing county in the state and pretty easily determine the
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election, so it is trying to understand the diminishing entity known as the undecided voter, and there are not many of them nationally. there are maybe 3% or 4% nationally, and virginia may be of more than that. go it is interesting to think what they are making of the conventions, that kind of thing. >> let me ask you about to voters -- two voters. ann and mary. ann saying it romney has not close a deal even though she supported john mccain four years ago. if you are in the romney campaign and you listen to these voters, what is your take away? >> it is interesting, because one of the reasons the obama campaign is really showering this area, they are getting the same absence -- ads, and they
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are trying to appeal on so- called women's issues, so they have been hammering on that to try to scare up some concern among women than nit romney might not be the best for them. there was a strong desire to know more in the way of specifics, to get a sense of what mitt romney's plan was. that is something we have heard even today when the romney campaign was talking about the intention to put out more specifics and talk more about specifics, but this was a room that seem to be dying for more of that on both sides, and you heard a lot about the talk of bipartisan cooperation, the frustration over the inability of congress to do things affectively alongside the white house. those are the kinds of concerns
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those women were racing as well. good >> you heard from voters ascend said the economy is driving the election. he was leaning towards barack obama, but now he is leaning towards mitt romney. if you are the obama campaign, what is your take away? >> he was a conundrum. you find people like that of focus groups. he was a person who said he voted for obama and seemed to be leaning towards romney. if i have it right he was one of the seven or so people who like the idea of obamacare and was appreciative of that but had his other concerns. voters like that are why the obama campaign and both campaigns are trying to pound on with their core strengths are , and on the way out here i
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drove past the main obama headquarters, and they have people working in these neighborhoods, and they have currently been knocking on his door, and i would not be surprised if the romany people were, too. it is immediate contact and the attempt to bring people over to their side, may be on the obamacare issue. it is very hard to tell where he was likely to come down, but it is my sentiment about a number of people who went back and forth about what the main issues were all about. >> if you were to write a headline tonight or tomorrow, what would its status? -- what would it stay? >> that is a tough one. i guess it would basically be a diminished group of people in terms of undecided voters getting smaller. my main take away is even though there were a lot of people who
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were very ambivalent about obama, i had a feeling most of those would go his direction. that is reading the tea leaves, and i may be wrong, and there were a number of undecided that were undecided though they had been mccain voters before and did not know which direction they are going to go now. things are looking fairly good for obama in virginia. >> explain briefly to those who have not watch groups in the past, what is the goal? what did you take away from this?
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>> campaigns do a lot of polli ng and that is the idea to put what different parts of the country are thinking about issues, and they do focus groups like this, and there are dozens of them going on across the country where they will put adds up. this is the way most campaign advertisers are created. they will run them by focus grus -- focus groups. for us to be able to sit in on something like this is useful as a reporter.
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the campaign spent a lot of money on rooms like this. >> we will look for your story in the wall street journal and online. thanks for being with us. next is carol. -- carl. caller: these focus groups seem to be educated people. they are fools. >> why is the? >> i live in illinois. we are not even getting campaign commercials. they live in virginia. they are getting bombarded. i do not get it.
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every commercial is a political commercial. have biasesese people they have failed to recognize, and that is why they have failed to make decisions. i heard this one guy say, i believe in trickle-down economics. trickle-down does not work. likes our next call is from -- >> our next call is from iowa. it is another battleground states. caller: i was originally from debute. i lost my job. >> what was your job is? >> it was a printing company. under obamacare, they closed. we had to read about it in the paper.
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jobs in iowa, he promised us health care. i lost my job. my husband died of three months of cancer. we have no insurance. we have nothing, so where is the health care he promised us four years. people need to wake up and. >> who are you voting for? >> i am voting for mitt romney, and i am a registered democrat. i ain't voting for obama. my life is ruined. i have teenagers who have no insurance because my husband died of cancer, and we paid for insurance our whole lives. my husband died at 55. i worked since i was 14. i lost my job after 31 years. >> things for the call.
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on our twitter page, i think some of the focus point was missing the point. some of them are not informed about what the president has done. caller: i am utterly amazed, bewildered. this focus group is not just uninformed. they are ill informed. it is amazing to me and the intellectual argument is still not resonating. what is on trial here is a keynesian economics. neither will be able to change the system because they both believe the same thing. they only have certain nuances the differentiate them, and that is how they are going to spend the money. they are going to do the exact same thing.
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they have different interest groups they represent. the intellectual argument was opposed only by one candidate, and that was ron paul. this country does not understand what is on trial is keynesian economics. >> based on that, who are you going to vote for? >> i am going to write ron paul in, or am going to sit this election out. i cannot see any difference between barack obama and ms. romney. >> -- and mitt romney. >> and this, too bad they did not say if they plan on not voting. you can join us on twitter.com or on the phone.
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catherine joins us. caller: i was very impressed by the show. i like when they do this, but i was so amazed by how many people are not informed about anything. i know there are political ads out, but with medicare, i am 68 years old, and if they take medicare a way, my life would be different. when he said you could not get a doctor, i could not believe that. we have got the same doctor we have always had. they must live in a different
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community because they are small, but i do not know if you're a good -- i do not know. the gentleman said he wants to sit this out. we have to vote. you have to learn about each candidate, which when you think will be the best. >> save louis, missouri, is next. sue, good evening. caller: i cannot remember too much, but his wife of obama, she hated america, and that guy with a birth certificate could even be leading our country has a good speaking voice, but he has not done a thing with us.
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>> this is the latest in a series of focus groups. next is michael in atlanta appeared eager -- in atlanta. what did you learn tonight? >> you were not able to hear any solid points, so i guess in providing no information even with the motion. am a first-time caller, and
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i am surprised i got through. do they forget that they thought people did not count? they were so uninformed for a focus group. >> what was your concern? >> they handed everything on an emotional level instead of being informed. >> we got the message. we go to our republican line. you are on the air. caller: you ask what we learned,
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and i have to echo what many of the callers said. i learned there are many people who have not taken the time to study the candidates and learn not only about who the candidates are as people but who they surround each other with. for me that is a big deal. we need to look at these men and their character. we need to look at who they surround themselves with, and we need to look at their decision making skills, and i did a lot of studies even before barack obama was elected, and i decided before he was elected he was not a character and leadership qualities i was looking for in a present. >> who are you going to vote for
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in 2012? >> i was leaning toward ron paul, but i am going to have to go with romney, and i have not done a lot of studying on romney as -- i have done a lot of study it on romney as well, and i think he is the best candidate. >> how enthusiastic are you for romney? >> he is growing on me. i have recently learned things about him that are not getting out into the media that i found on the website. >> such as? >> mitt romney throughout his career has not only done what he has done on the public and who level where he is working as a businessman, but during that time he also took time out of his personal life and his private time, his downtime, to
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go and help families. he went out and helped a family. all of them were in a car. he drove them to college, and three of them were coming back. two of the boys were in a terrible accident. two of the boys broke their necks, and mitt romney made a personal visit to their homes just to assess what was going tickets for the call. from our twitter page -- our last call is from fairfax, virginia. independent line. good evening. >> good evening.
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thank you for taking my call. >> what did you learn tonight? caller: i thought this was very enlightening. what is disappointing is the caller is talking about this focus group being misinformed. i also think those who are undecided -- this could be a table talk at a dinner or conversation at the grocery store. people who are undecided do not know, they navy passionate on one area or another but i think it is unfortunate that you want to inject a group who are vulnerable to talk and habit to discussion about this. one focus of member made a
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compass -- a common. i would like hear specifics. people want to hear that from both sides. that may be the deciding factor. the woman who commented about tell me who your adviser will be. with any corporation or business, you know who is going to be running -- >> you are right. i came at the very end of the focus group. caller: -- host: it came at the very end of the focus group. caller: each candidate is not informed about every aspect of the administration. the specifics is what going to get people to vote. it is unfortunate that the
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demographics of the focus group was not across america. fairfax county is one of the richest counties in the nation. we are sheltered. i hate to say that. but it is entitled to see these undecided voters, and across america. host: i am going to stop there. i appreciated. we are short on time. our thanks to the annenberg center and the university of pennsylvania for allowing this focus group put together by peter hart. out with the new server tomorrow on the presidential election. we will continue the conversation tomorrow with our guests tomorrow. and a reminder, our debate
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coverage here on the c-span networks, the perfect -- the first presidential debate on the campus of the university of denver in the second debate at hofstra university. the final debate in florida which will take place from center college in kentucky on october 11. all available live on c-span and posted on our website at c- span.org. including tonight's focus group. this morning on "washington journal," bob woodward. the book is titled "the price of politics." on the issue of the budget and the deficit. up next from this morning's "washington journal." authorob woodward is the of "the price of politics."
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what is the story you're trying to tell here? guest: the daily reporting is exceptionally good or the long pieces capture a lot but we run by history and we do not know what really happened and i have the luxury of time and can dig back in and this is an examination of what obama and the congress have done for this period -- for 3 1/2 years, from the beginning of the administration to the summer. host: what is the central part of this story? guest: the drama is this affects everyone. get control of the spending instead of -- we are on a binge now, a spending binge.
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we cannot keep borrowing all of this money. it describes in painful detail the meetings and phone calls and the internal discussions. a lot of discussion inside the white house. you see what they are doing. last summer on the effort to get congress to increase the authorization for spending and borrowing. the president has a private meeting with his senior staff. it is called by the people in the white house the king solomon moment. the president says that he is like king solomon. he cannot divide the baby. he has to do something to stabilize the economy.
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he has less leverage in these negotiations. that realization is accurate. you can see his reasoning and the debate within the white house. host: the role of john boehner last year. guest: he went to the president and he proposed tax reform, and the president said he was willing to go along with the entitlement reform. half the book is this 44 days, and economic cuban missile crisis where they are trying to do something. the end result is to push everything off, all the tough decisions to 2013. host: they come up with the sequestration plan. now we're at a point where automatic spending cuts go through january, 2013.
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we went back into the c-span archives to illustrate your coverage. president obama comes before the cameras and so does john boehner. the reaction to that. [video clip] >> i did not see a path to a deal if they do not budge. if the basic proposition is, it is "my way or the highway, we will probably not get it done." if in fact mitch mcconnell and john boehner are sincere that they do not want to see u.s. government default, they have to compromise, just like democrats have to compromise.
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>> the president continues to insist on raising taxes. they are not serious about entitlement reform. i want to get there. i want to do what i think is in the best interests of the country. it takes two to tangle. and they are not there yet. i understand this will take sacrifice and political capital on both sides. >> this will take political capital on both sides. i am willing to take my fair share of it. let's step up and do the right thing for the country. host: what is going on behind the scenes? guest: so much. they having meetings. he goes down to the white house. they have a meeting on the patio off the oval office.
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boehner is having merlo and having a cigarette in the president is having ice-t and chewing a nicorette. they start the process. politics intervenes. the politics is the president cannot control the democratic party and boehner cannot control the house republicans. it is fascinating to hear their internal debates in the capital and then down in the white house. you see them coming together and i have elaborate notes from meetings and discussions.
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you can see there is a level of seriousness and engagement that no one had the stamina to do the details and make sure that this worked. it was convenient for everyone to put off until 2013 so it would not be an election issue, so no one would be having advance or enacted a law that involved pain. host: fast for 11 days later. president obama comes out before the cameras. take a look. [video clip] >> this was an extraordinarily fair deal. if it was on balance, it was on balance in the direction of not enough revenue.
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but in the interest of being serious about deficit reduction, i was willing to take a lot of heat from my party. i spoke to democratic leaders yesterday. they were willing to engage in serious negotiations. despite a lot of heat from interest groups from the country to make sure that we dealt with this problem. it is hard to understand why speaker boehner would walk away from this kind of deal. look at the commentary out there. a lot of republicans are puzzled as to what it could not get done. host: speaker boehner has his own response on the same day. [video clip] >> we have but plan after plan on the table.
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we had our plan out there. house passed the cut cap and balance. never once did the president come to the table with a plan. we were always pushing. sometimes it is good to back away from the tree and take a look at the forest. i came back away from the tree to take a look at the forest. i consulted with my fellow leaders and others about the way to go forward. i want to tell you what i said several weeks ago. dealing with the white house is like dealing with a bowl of jell-o. guest: the back story is an laws.
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six senators propose more revenue for tax reform then obama was offering. it was house decided -- it is fascinating how this all occurred. the former campaign manager deciding that the president should offer at least as much revenue as the six senators had, and that includes three republicans. the president picked up the phone and called speaker boehner the day before what occurred here.
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he said, let's consider $400 billion more. speaker insisted it was a demand. no one else was present. monumental communications lapse. it broke down on this day. the president was waiting for a call from boehner. boehner would not call him back. he said he was trying to work out a deal with the leaders. the next day, the president calls the congressional leaders to the white house and saturday morning, 11:00 a.m., the congressional leaders asked him to leave the meeting. the president said he was not going to stand on protocol as they tried to work a deal at the white house.
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it work for a while. harry reid backed away from the congressional deal and joined forces with the president. it is in the details that the decisions and the negotiations hung. host: lydia from illinois. go ahead. lydia, are you there? go ahead. caller: good morning. it was noted that reporters -- i think that's what you're doing. it is out there. newt gingrich devised the strategy of transforming the house as a way to drive the national agenda. it was outlined in a book in 2009 when newt gingrich was part
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of a group that met and devise a process to obstruct. mr. boehner was one of the key lieutenants. his following the process. i'm waiting for you. i want you to identify it now. we need information to understand the process because -- guest: i get your question. it's a good one. i assemble all this in a book at present before the election so people can make an evaluation.
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it has the details from what occurred over three and a half years. if he do it daily reporting of this, you cannot accumulate the information. i have found this to be the case over 40 years. the reactions to who obstructed or who did not do what was necessary. people had different opinions. this was politically neutral presentation of what occurred. some people will say the republicans were awful, they not unified. speaker boehner had the tea party which she could not control. others say the president was not aggressive enough and could not control the democrats.
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i point the finger at everyone but make the point, it gets down to presidential leadership. the president is the one that has to work his will or find a way to do that. in this case, he did not. you asked about the past and the future. the future is we're back in this mess again. the exact issues will come before us in a couple of months. congress authorized expanded borrowing up to the point -- we will be there in january of next year.
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the white house, whoever is there, has to go to congress and say, "we need more borrowing authority to the tune of trillions of dollars." everyone acknowledges this. host: we have a tweet on our twitter page from rightwing. guest: potus is president of the united states. you can see exactly what happened. it explains it. it has the back channel conversations, the notes of the meetings, and the interviews with people. just to take an example. part of the solution of last year would be setting up a super committee
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to come up with $1.2 trillion. everybody said this would work. harry reid said it was a sure thing. mitch mcconnell expected it to work. committee met. the mechanism was to come up with this deficit reduction. and if you don't, we'll have sequestration, means forced spending cuts immediately in 2013 in a way that is decided almost with a hatchet, so everyone gets cut. the super committee failed.
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host: james from louisiana. caller: who do you think is calling the shots in the white house? the thing it is valerie jarrett or the other end of the chicago machine. guest: the president is calling the shots. he is heavily influenced and the man who ran his successful campaign in 2008, the senior adviser and has the office closest to the oval office.
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geography is very significant. when there is a decision to be made, he ways and with the political angle. i would say his influence, valerie jarrett plays a role. there are many other people. the congressional liaison plays a significant role in all of these. i layout exactly what happened, what we used to call the best obtainable version of the truth and it is often emotional. at many points it is complicated. host: the influence of joe biden in these talks. guest: biden is critical on all of this.
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going back to 2010, after the democrats lost the house, obama center by president biden to negotiate with mitch mcconnell. in the west wing, joe biden is known as the mcconnell whisperer. he has the decades-long relationship with mcconnell to work out a deal. they worked out a deal in 2010. they extended some low income programs. the philosophy is kind of old school. "you get some and i get some." that is what happened in 2010. in may, 2011, they came up with lots of cuts.
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there was a private talk with joe biden and eric cantor. "if we were in charge, we would be able to work this out." they identified hundreds of billions of dollars of potential cuts but they didn't carry over the finish line. host: joe biden admits he does not like the budget. guest: he starts out saying he is not a budget guy. he declined to become chairman of the budget committee. he brought in a deputy and said,
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you are going to be there every day and giving me a tutorial and affirmation. you read those notes and the presentation i have and the book and joe biden mastered the issues. the problem as joe biden saw it, the republicans would not give on revenue. no tax increases. this drove biden crazy. caller: that is pretty funny. i was struck with how you went with, "this is the obama era." what stood out in your book was speaker boehner's office did not return the president's phone call and a lack of communication with the president.
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it is almost like there is a personal weakness to have somebody to dinner so what should we even do it? guest: relationships need to be built. i think president obama is right when a complaint that boehner would not return his phone call for almost a day. that is unheard of.
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the white house chief of staff goes swayback when he was an aide to tip o'neill in the 1980's. he was appalled at the speaker will not call the president back and made the point internally at the white house that when ronald reagan called, the phone call was immediately returned. boehner's argument was that he had to put together a congressional deal. he thought it would affect the financial markets. that is his excuse. president said, "why didn't he just call and say, i am working on it." it was the silence that offended the president and the white house staff. boehner did call and said he was backing out.
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one of the aides who work with them for years said he was spewing coals like a furnace in the oval office that day. the worry was the president was so furious when he was on the phone that he would literally break the phone. scott pelley asked if he was in a phone-breaking mood. the president said he was very angry. but i don't think i woul had hae broken the phone. host: you write about it lack of deference on the democratic side, too. why do you think that is? guest: a lot has to do with harry reid, who goes to a meeting with the president on a sunday night at 6:00 p.m.
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go to the meeting and you can see what happens. one of the most interesting meetings i've ever reported on. harry reid has developed a plan with the republicans. he turns it over to his chief of staff who sits in the oval office and reads out the president and said, i'm disappointed in this white house and in you, that you did not have a plan b. they did not have a plan b. afterwards, there were arriving back from the white house and said, you did a good job. the president needed to hear it that. nobody was telling him that. the president knew he did not have a plan b.
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there was a scramble to get control of the situation. host: chris in missouri. caller: you are an insider -- guest: i'm an outsider trying to report what happened. we're all struggling. caller: they had all these guys on c-span the other day trying to explain how to get past the political roadblocks that we have had trying to come up with these 6 or whenever. i noticed one thing true that
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conference. they always talk about the g.d.p. it seems like those in washington, they forget that outside of washington people are working. that's what really drives the american economy. through that, i see that they also fail to understand that this country seems to be going through a technical logical -- technocological change. we have seen changes in the music and the computer industry. guest: if i may quickly answered? there is a disconnect between washington and the real world when you refer to g.d.p., gross domestic product, which is the total of goods and services in the economy. the problem is it's not enough. there's too much unemployment, none of the growth. people are not hiring.
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we have a come to this fiscal cliff, as they call it. it is actually misnamed. it is a financial crisis. you will have a government- induced recession if these tax cuts are eliminated so taxes will go up and these cuts and program in for 2013 will affect everyone. in the book, treasury secretary timothy geithner argues with the president of the him in in these discussions -- vehemently that if we do not straighten this out in the short run, hopefully the long run, that the impact on everyone is going to be giant. it will affect confidence. it will affect employment levels. anyone who has any money or anticipates getting any money that they have invested in their home, bank account come any kind of investment is going to be impacted by all of this. -- bank account, at any kind of investment, is going to be
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impacted. we are living on the sharp edge of a razor blade. this all explodes. not this week but in two, three, four months after the election. if there is no fix, we are really in trouble. host: first cannonballs and alice simpson were on "meet the press -- erskine bowles and alice simpson were on "meet the press." [video clip] >> i'm frightened that we are going to meet this fiscal cliff and see this debt to country. it could lead to very horrible economic results.
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i met with the president. >> you took the ax. >> i did. >> we were not looking to do that, but i'm confident talk of the election that he's prepared to negotiate with the republicans and come up with a plan that falls within the framework of what we talked about. >> i believe that, too. host: mr. woodward. guest: i ask the president about this two months ago. he said the proposals by the simpson-bowles commission included in eliminating some of the tax deductions are cutting back on the charitable deductions, health insurance deductions, and the mortgage insurance deduction, the president told me that those
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would be "wildly unpopular." they would never pass congress. i think he's right. you need some sort of serious tax reform negotiation that would take months, maybe a year, maybe longer. reagan did it in his presidency in 1986. they were able to lower the rates and are virtually get more money for the federal government. it's harder now, but it's possible. this expression of confidence, erskine bowles and al simpson deserve a medal of honor for survival in pushing on the issues here. the problem is politics. this book is called "the price of politics" because when it comes to political calculations, they say we should not do something painful or, to use the president's expression, "wildly unpopular," he wants to get reelected.
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people in congress have the same feeling. we have not had this rolling up the sleeves engagement of stamina that is required that will become absolutely necessary in the coming months. host: middleton, new jersey, thank you rating. caller: all the tax credits they wanted to eliminate happen to be focused on people who work for a living. that is the problem. the last republican president that had a balanced budget was nixon. we listened to eight years of a vice-president, dick cheney, telling us that deficits don't matter. we had $3 trillion in debt spending that was not put on the books that this president inherited. he had one year of working with the last president's budget, which s insane.
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he was handed a nation losing 800,000 jobs per month. he had a mountain and a shovel. the republicans say you did not shovels fast enough. guest: ok. i think that's a fair point. i point out that the president was handed a floundering economy and a very recalcitrant republican majority in the house, at least for the last two years. at the same time, step back. speaker john boehner in one of the clips of their ran here talks about stepping back and looking at the forest. step back and look at the forest. this country has an economy which is in trouble and his bald, but compared to the other economies in the world, including china, we have got a
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lot of things going for us. if this were able to be fixed in a way -- you cannot do it all at once. you're quite right. you cannot put it all on the backs of the workers alone. you have to spread out the pain in a way that democrats and republicans will not like. if you did something like this, you would get a sense of coherence to taxing and spending policy. it is the incoherence of those that causes ever want to say, i don't know if i should buy a new car, of expand and hire a few more people in my business. we are on the edge here when we would have come to use your analogy, -- we should have, to use your analogy, attack the mountain with the schauble. i could sit here with 20 expert for a day and come up with a general outline of some of the things that needed to be done.
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in the end, it is about political will. if you do not have the political will to get up and say you're going to have to get their. the background music to all of this is the memory everyone has, particularly democrats, when walter mondale in 1984 ran against reagan and said, "i'm going to raise your taxes." mondale got slaughtered in that campaign. no one wants to tell the full story or the truth. the government's going to have to get revenue in the government is going out to cut back somehow. host: independence in st. louis, missouri. caller: in the end, mr. woodward, it is up to pays for the campaigns. i think you know that. first of all, since the tea party republicans took over the
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house in 2010, congress has its lowest approval rating ever. after four years of obama, he is going up in the polls. thendly, i'm sure if republicans controlled everything in november that they're going to make a voucher system out of medicare. this was before it was ever passed. they're not going to raise the taxes on those who pay for their election. guest: if the republicans take
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over everything, it will be on their backs to come up with some plan. you make some good points there. there is a way. simpson and bowles were on the road to some of that. where we are now is in trouble and in peril. what i have tried to do is come in a way, in the end, for a reporter, it's not about the politics of it. partisanabout a position. it's about trying to figure out exactly what happened. the things in this book that democrats do not like it,
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republicans do not like it, it's what happened. you can look at it and you can save you should enrich your own conclusions. that is the reporting tradition that i come from. host: on our facebook page, -- guest: because the president is the leader. the president has this power. there is a phrase george uses in his diaries. he is the famous diplomat who came up with the containment policy. he talks about the treacherous curtain of deference. in the oval office, there is that treacherous curtain of deference where people will come in.
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my god, it's the president. he has an aura. he has the capacity to do things that no other leader does. you cannot say that it is the guy down the hall that is a staffer or the person who is the speaker of the house who does have immense responsibility for this. there is a way to lead. i have cited this before. go to december, 1941, pearl harbor is bombed. the united states entered world war ii. it looks really grim. it looks like we possibly can not win this war. franklin roosevelt found a way to do it. leaders have to fix problems.
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i do not think it 1% of the people will remember who the speaker of the house is during world war ii. it is in the president's grasped. the president has that responsibility. what's interesting, i think president obama realizes that. i would expect governor romney, if he becomes president, would realize that, too. that is where the buck stops, as has been said. host: on obstruction, we get a lot of people talking about what mitch mcconnell said, the republican's main goal after obama wins. your reporter about what he said and the full context of what he said.
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guest: he's a tough guy. his goal is to make sure that obama is a one-term president. my assistant dug in to that interview. we wanted to find out when mcconnell said that and exactly what he said. it turns out what he also said in that interview was, "i don't want obama to fail. i want him to change. i want him to be like bill clinton." that change of least puts that in context. i was on morning joe this morning and he said, "we have strong him up for this time and time again. i think i owe him an apology when you see the context of in." whether there will be an
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apology, i don't know, but mcconnell was saying that he wants to work with this guy. he wants change. of course, change in his direction. host: a question off of twitter. guest: that's a very good question. ryan did not play much of their role. i have seen where he meets with cantor and they talk about boehner being off the reservation in negotiating things with obama that week, republicans, are not going to like. the ryan budget was something that was held off on because it had passed the house. obama does not like it.
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democrats do not like it. it's interesting. there is a meeting where president obama calls harry reid and nancy pelosi to the oval office to lay out what you trying to do here. nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, is deeply concerned and worried that the president is going to cut medicare. she says, if we have a plan and actually cut medicare and democrats to go along, it will make the republicans hold in the rye and budget. it will eliminate a very clear distinction, at least in her mind, between the democrats and republicans on the very important issue of medicare. host: in other twitter question for you.
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guest: you don't know. different personalities. different circumstances. when i was in the oval office a few months ago having interviewed president obama at great length about what happened and the key points in all of these negotiations, he just said to me, "if bob dole had been the senate minority -- the senate minority leader as he was in the clinton administration, we would have been able to work this deal out." whether that is the case or not, certainly, the president has a very strong argument that there is less flexibility in the house republicans now than there was during the gingrich era. host: is a piece, ""the price of politics" is much to do about nothing." guest: i guess this person did not read the book. you repeatedly have scenes. where speaker boehner is considering whether to except more revenue as the president has proposed.
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he calls eric cantor and his chief of staff down to his office on the second floor of the capital. canto ofr has ties to the tea party. boehner lays out this proposal for more revenue. the chief of staff for cantor, who is in touch with the tea party, to say the least, asks the speaker how many votes he thought he would get for that additional revenue. the speaker says about 170. the chief of staff says to him, "you're crazy." that is something you do not seem very often wear a staffer tells the speaker to his face that he's crazy. cantor essentially agrees and
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they conclude he would only get about 50 votes for the additional revenue proposal. this was when boehner essentially calls of any further negotiations or deals with the white house. the force of the tea party is explicit and real. host: democratic line, institute, west virginia. caller: in west virginia, we had a governor who had a house and senate who would not work with him. therefore, he was not able to do anything in the state of west virginia. what i have seen is a duplicate of that with this congress. this congress has failed to do exactly what they have sworn to do. that is to support the
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constitution of the united states. when you're making laws, it is not your prerogative to put your party first. host: mr. woodward. guest: that, as i point out, in the book, there is a scene after scene where the republicans show that they're not going to budge on some of these things. in their view, they are adhering to the constitution. in their view, they're doing what is necessary. the key point here is that speaker boehner is the nominal leader of republicans in the house and opened these negotiations last year with the president. there were all kinds of offers and discussions going back and forth on this. you can see the detail. you may blame obama. you may blame the republicans. you may blame me for writing about it. whenever it is.
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this is, if you will, the performance review. this is what we always used to call the best obtainable version of the truth. host: 1 last phone call for you, republican line in south carolina. caller: thank you, sir. please let me state a few facts. don't cut me off. host: we don't have time. caller: let me talk. i want to complement mr. woodward on his book. i watched him on morning joe. here is a very intelligent man. the fact of what you get over this is, first of all, congress -- that want to remind everyone that for the last six years, they have had a majority of the senate. for four of the last six years, the democrats have had the
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congress. for only less than two eight years, the republicans have had a majority in the house of representatives. guest: that's true. at the same time, the problem has increased. as we spend $1 trillion per year more than comes in. i guess the point of all this is that it's just not over. we're going to revisit all these problems in the coming months. host: that point, i just want to show this picture from your book of the speaker and the president right there. the look on their faces. if you could just speak to what happens next and the likelihood of these two coming together to talk again and relive what they did last year. guest: ok. i see the picture. yes, there are not happy. this is when the president, i
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believe, outed the meeting in his own house. sometimes, political leaders rise to the occasion and do things that are not in their personal political interests, their party's interest, but in the larger national interest. you're always looking for those leaders and those moments when they will say we've got to do something here. if something is not done -- i hate to be an alarmist, but i'm going to be a realist. you just cannot keep doing what we've been doing. the problem is you do not know when the debt crisis finally rises to the surface and people out in the world and in this country say, at $16 trillion -- i emphasize trillion -- in i know you's out there, maybe the united states is not able to make good on them -- the
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i.o.u.'s out there, maybe the u.s. can't pay. . get a cascading explosion that can happen in financial markets when you have stock market crashes, bond market crashes. people will say they do not want to have those i.o.u.'s unless they're paid more interest. the interest rates are very low. if they went up, but we could have to pay hundreds of trillions of dollars more in interest that would just add to the problem. it's not something to say it was only last year. it is this minute. host: bob woodward, thank you for staying at our table and talking to our viewers. i appreciate it.
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>> in just over two weeks, the first of the presidential debates, live on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. coming up tonight, another chance to see the peter hart focus group. then a couple campaign events, first with president obama in cincinnati, ohio. then mitt romney in los angeles. tuesday on c-span 2, the oregon governor talks about lowering health-care costs while improving care. he says the sensor -- he is at the center for american progress. also, a form on the supreme court to loss 11 and 2012 terms,
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including a look at property rights, and immigration. live coverage starts at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> happy on filtered truth. what they are saying, when, and why. beyond that, i like using cs gone -- c-span as a thermostat. sometimes you get so caught up in the beltway. one of the soap -- one of the shows i enjoy it is "washington journal." it makes my job easier to do what i do. i know what conservatives and liberals are thinking. the calls are on filter. -- unfiltered. >> c-span, created by america's
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cable companies in 1979. >> next, peter hart talks with a group of virginia voters. this focus group was conducted on behalf of the policy center of the university of pennsylvania. it is two hours. >> welcome. any seat is equally great.
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can you turn your knee toward me. ? you go by pamela vs. pam? great. >> charlie? christina? a.j.? susan? and david? welcome. thank you very much for being here. this is a focus group, and i am delighted that you hear. what we will do is talk about the 2012 election. this is being done for the annenberg center for public policy at the university of pennsylvania. my name is peter hart, i have been doing these sessions for
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about 12 years now. they are only meant to be a discussion. it is meant to look at the election. we have had several of these already. we had won in milwaukee a month ago. we have had them in ohio, and had them all across the nation. i figure as we are getting close to the end, what would be a better place than virginia? can you think of a better place? i cannot think of a better place either. that is the purpose, and that is what it is, and the will to start talking and go through things. let me say there are not any right answers or wrong answers and we're not here to persuade anybody. your point of view is the right one. let me go around the table and
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the table and start with ben. give me your name. tell me what you do for work, if you are married, have kids, and i guess the at the thing i would like to know is who you are voting for for president. how committed are you? if you are totally and this died it, say you are totally undecided at this stage. if you're committed, let me know. i want to know i am voting for someone, and you are either open or you can be wooed or can be convinced by someone. ben, welcome. >> i am a geologist. i just graduated from virginia tech. right now i am leaning for mitt romney. >> i am pamela, director of communications for a company called human circuit. but we do is we integrate, which is another word for implement and install, vital media products, teleconferencing, a.v., studio
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equipment, etc. i am divorced, a single mother with two boys who just graduated college, and i am totally undecided. >> ok, great, and for the future, we will not name our companies because i do not want somebody to say i had a terrible experience, i got to get a hold of them. only good experiences. >> i am rich, and i work for a company that is a sales distributor. i have four kids and married. right now i am leaning toward obama. >> i am mary parker, retired after being a school principal, and i am married and have one son who is launched, hopefully, and i am leaning toward obama.
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>> ok, good. >> i was laid off four years ago and my contingency plan i started a business, which has been going on for 3 1/2 years. i am technically leaning for obama. >> i am still on the fence. >> great. >> my name is charlie, and that working at a web company. i got one child at home, and i pretty much undecided. >> ok. >> i am christina, a coastal engineer. i am engaged, so i will be getting married soon in two weeks, and i am leaning toward barack obama. but great. and congratulations.
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>> my name is a.j., a computer geek, ridiculously happily married, no kids yet. i am leaning toward obama with some reservation. >> ok, great. >> i work in commercial lending and credit union. i am married, and i leaned toward romney. >> i am dave, i work in alternative education, a teacher, mary, and i have two children who are no where near being launched. i am currently leaning toward president obama. >> ok, good. >> i'm raj, the president of a biotech company, and i am leaning toward mitt romney.
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>> good, great. i would do a quick show of hands root we also have a major united states senate race here, between tim kaine and george allen. and many people if the election were today say i am with tim kaine? one, 1 1/2, two, 3, 4, 5, 6? who is with george allen? ok, great, i wanted to get that one of the way so we could take a look. that we start and ask you to give me a word or phrase to decide how things are going in america. how are things going, christina? >> tepid. >> because? >> i think things could be better, but i think things were worse in the past, and here in d.c. we have a skewed view of what it is like outside of this region. things seemed tepid. >> improving.
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>> raj? >> b-plus. >> scary, there does not seem to be in the way of agreeing in congress. the good old days when they would go out for a drink after being on the floor and figure it all out, does not seem to be happening. >> ben? >> things could be better. optimistic. things could be better. >> pamela?
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>> things got pretty down there for a while, so i am feeling like things are optimistic as well, because i do believe we have reached our bottom and a number of years ago. >> what is the optimism for? >> where does it come from? >> it is more complex than just saying something more flip like it did not get any worse. i think this country and our current administration is faced with some real challenges, that are global, not just our country, a global affairs, a global environment, and things are just crazy all over the were pared that is affecting us, but
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we are maintaining, we are sustaining, we are climbing out of the black hole. >> a.j.? >> i think we are mired in a bowl of stupid. the dialogue, that i can easily recall when i was growing up through the reagan years and to the clinton years, which seemed to die off after slick willy left town. there was lucky to and fro from both sides that would sit down at the table, and we as a people would go out after work and have drinks and discuss things. it has turned into a camp war. >> richard? >> i am concerned, a global issue, and no easy solution to fix it. to get together and figure out how we can get there. >> let me use this little time -- and everybody has a pad in front of them. what i am trying to do is represent how you are looking at the next four years, not up where we are today, but if you look toward the next four years
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ahead to, do you think we're headed up in a pretty good path. barely had it up, absolutely that evening, headed down slightly, or down strongly to write down the letter which you think best describes what you sort of see as the next four years. ok, how many people say a, we are headed up? you're very optimistic. >> i am, because things are starting to work, people are starting to get back to work, to say that things are good right yet, but they are moving in that direction. >> anybody say e, i think we're going to be headed down in the next four years in a dramatic way? nobody . how about b, we will start to slip up? nine people. almost everybody else. why do you feel that way? >> i think this has been an opportunity for people to
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become introspective. i thought i was safe in my position, i raise money and my salary, and when i got the notification i was being let go, you're kidding me? but i was comfortable, and it made me get off my tail and start a business, something i have been dreaming about four years, and now i am thinking, wow, i can do this. >> mary? >> i would agree with what charlie said, only not quite the a, in the thinking that the housing market is improving slightly, and i think general awareness, people see where we have to go. >> ok, good. anybody else? >> i am in the c-plus, the partisanship is really just -- it brings us down and a lot of ways. i do not like currently right now we cannot find any common ground. you look on any tv show where commentators, you know exactly where the station is coming from. you cannot watch one show and get both sides trade i feel
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there is nowhere where you can go to watch news and get a good idea where the country is because everyone has taken a side. >> i am a b-plus. i'm a little more than slightly optimistic, because it is a deep hole where climbing out. as christina said, and lot of us, myself included, had to be forced out of our country to look at what is going on and to be concerned. not just show up and cast a vote. actually ask questions cannot be interested, participate, look for similarities, not
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differences. that is where i think the solution ultimately die. >> i was in that age group that was dropped out of college in 2008, or are we going to go, and see a lot of my friends struggle with careers, in unemployed, entering college with the hope that everything is going to be great, but now i can start to see my friends buy homes, and we are all starting to gather on a better footing. >> is anybody a d? a couple c's, and the rest a's and b's. tell me something. >> what gives you confidence in america's future? >> the amazing intellectual pool, inexhaustible, intellectual talent, which is what the future is all about, and no one can compete against that. >> along with the intellectual pool, natural resources we need. >> rich? >> that we do not give up as a country, we try to improve. people start the own business, come out of college.
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>> ok, good. it gives you confidence? >> american spirit. you do not go down easily. >> what is the thing that scares you the most? charles? what worries you, as you think about america's future? >> this was all set down by the other questions. [laughter] the discongruity in congress. our leaders need to think about the country instead of being elected. the first thing most politicians think about is how is this done to affect my reelection chances instead of what is good for this country, and that is the biggest problem we have. >> biggest challenge?
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>> i think the biggest challenge is there is still a lot of people out there that feel they are safe, and i feel like i have hit the bottom and i am on the rise, but i just had a conversation with a neighbor who just lost their jobs, and for her, her safety net is shaking. i do not know. >> mary, what concerns you? what scares you? >> the whole economy, how do we get out, and i do not see any candidates really having a plan and giving direction. >> pamela? >> i am 54, and i am concerned about my social security's. i am concerned about medicare, health care, and i have not heard anything that makes me feel solid or on a good footing with regard to what is down the road with me in 10 years. i'm going to have to work until
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i am 95. >> and that is how you feel, that your front have to work? and you say you're going to stop working? >> no, and as a single mother i
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did not have an opportunity to save or invest. just to keep a roof over my head and put my kids through school. here they are done, and now i am literally starting all over again at age 64. all i have as security is my social security. i do not have assets. i have not been able to accumulate and keep -- so i am a little worried about that. >> mary, tell me your story. you used to be a school principal, and now you are retired. >> i was very fortunate. my husband was a principal as well, and the county and worked for, where we live in, has a very good retirement plan, and if you stay in, it is like the golden noose. if you leave, you lose a lot, but if you state income of the benefits are fantastic. >> you feel secure in the opposite way pamela does not pick this anybody feel in
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security in terms of where they are in your position? >> i do, and to go along with go with part b with education, this is what we were told we were right to get with retirement, and states are pulling back on that. they will not be able to financially fulfil the retirements that they have promised. we did not work for the money, but it would be nice to have what we have been promised when we retire. >> ok, i will do something. we will go around the room quickly answer with charles and go clockwise. charles, you get to prepare your answer. give me a word or phrase to describe how you feel about that 2012 campaign. write it down, and we will go quickly, a word or the phrase to describe how you feel about the 2012 campaign. ready, charles?
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>> extremely important. >> how do you feel about the campaign, christina? >> removed from it. i'm ok. >> very negative. >> negative. >> a potential, for eyes. >> normal. >> unhappy. >> contentious. >> no specific plan. anybody want to talk about the way you feel about this? confused?
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>> yes, i feel confused because you read one thing cannot hear one thing, and then it is contradicted shortly thereafter, and you try to read further into it, and you hear different people you think you can respect, and then you are appalled at some of the things they are saying. >> concerned, that there is nothing to be a path. they're set on one pack that they are veering off. >> the body else? >> i said negative, but i feel is reactionary, with the way social media is. before long, someone is jumped on to something. just a couple days with libya, it bothered me because i would like our leader to think about things. >> susan? >> at times it seems very ambiguous and confusing, mostly negative, and also the sound bites tried everything. i agree with everything being
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set so far. >> what most disappoints you about this campaign? >> i think talking points. i am so frustrated with talking points, and i am frustrated with the media where if you are going to ask a question, then make sure the question is answered. did not let them allow you to mow you down with a talking point. >> i'm not frustrated. >> ok, good. >> because? >> being still young and the politics is still new. this is only my third
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presidential election, so everything seems like it should be going, and nothing seems out of the ordinary, nothing seems bad or good in that respect. >> charlie, i do you agree? >> i am not frustrated by anything. i disagree with the whole campaign seems to be about sound bites, but i am not frustrated. >> is anybody else disappointed? >> politics is normal, and part of it is this election and in the future, more of technology and the media is going to play a role in it. we are at a paradigm change. >> ok, ok. i feel like pamela has something to say. >> i loathe technology. in preparation for coming to this event come i decided to do
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some homework so i did not make a fool of myself by saying something stupid with a lot of our politicians seem to be doing these days. in doing the research, i got totally overwhelmed by the amount of information out there and how things are contradictory, you're depending on the media outlets or the stance they take, which, because of all this information, is hard to filter it, sift and out come and come up with a decision, and that is why i am undecided. i have now got too much information. i cannot win for the debates. i cannot wait for some serious answering. >> that is not a bad place to start, because i would love to pick up. mary, why are you undecided? >> because i want mitt romney to release his tax returns. >> is that important? >> when i was looking at how he was vetting as applicants for vice president, he made them provide 10 years' the tax
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returns, and i feel that is unfair. little things i have read, like that in particular, stick in my mind. >> it sticks in my mind and it gets to be because? >> because it seems like it is not fair. but not fair because? >> because what is good for
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someone on one side should also be good for someone on the other. he should have to sense that he is going to ask his vice- president released 10 years' worth. >> anybody else feel the same way? >> no. >> let's see hands up. >> i do not think he should release any tax returns. i have my tax returns done in my favor, under the rules. the rules are made forever but, but to have to release his tax returns for the prior year's summit that has no bearing on this. >> and mary has one point of view, charles have a different point of view. how many of you say charles is right?
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four people. good. ann, tell me what you are thinking. you are undecided. why? >> in the discussion of the social meeting, it is hard to know what is being put out by the candidate come up because you have these commercials and sound bites from pacs to do not have to vet what they are saying. other people are coming forth, and i am concerned about not getting to hear just the candidates' sides. there is too much of it. >> you cannot authenticate it. >> how will you decide? >> by going to the sources that i feel -- and there have to be some out there still -- that are looking at both sites and trying to sit down to truly what the plans are.
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>> any one issue or area where you say this is really a make or break issue for you, or is it broader? >> a little bit broader. education one of my big concerns with the federal government making its way into and perhaps bullying its way into making school systems and states follow what the feds want to do. about all politics is local. education used to be local as well. >> who else? charles? why? >> i am waiting for the debates. i am disappointed in all the sound bites hope the debate will give us more debt and meet as to what the true plans are of the candidates. >> what puts you in the middle rather than leading toward obama or romney? >> i do not have enough information. i would hesitate to make any decision because of a lack of information.
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>> i do not have enough information. i would hesitate to make any decision because of a lack of information. >> if there were one question that the candidate had to enter that would help you, what would be the question? >> the plan for the economy. >> you're undecided, why? >> i cannot feel like i have enough information. it is vague now, like rhetoric, like i am hearing, canned, almost, in some cases, but we are getting a can. it depends on how many times they go back and that becomes their position, but i want to know who their advisers are going to be.
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>> you are saying you are leaning in the most gentle way toward obama. is up for grabs? what is happening here? >> until a week ago i was completely independent, and i still am. i have a real problem about what went on in the last week. too reactionary. one thing that is important is that our president is seen well around or, is it the leader of the free world, and that is the way i grew up. i grew up with ron reagan and bill clinton, and they work great. both in their different way straight it is important to me. i am only leaning toward obama because, although he is great on the stump, i have not seen it in the policies and in the other things.
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>> to help me out, when you say a reactionary last week, i was bothered, spell it out for me or for somebody who may not understand what you are talking about. >> with libya, when the ambassador was killed in libya. the reaction that came out from mitt romney, and it was so quick and he was grabbing on to something to the lake of the, like, he screwed up again, and wait, that is not what i want. take a moment, you know, think about it, just do not think about politics. let's look at what happened here, and see what we can do as a country to better our place in the world. >> anybody else have the same reaction? let me hear from carlina. >> that was the same thing that happened with me. i was not sure, because my position with obama has been if he walked in openly confident
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that he could get everything he wanted done done, and he found out you cannot change with him not being able to get his policies passed, this is a contingency plan? with mitt romney, not only are you not giving us specifics, what will happen if you cannot get anything passed? >> but you are reacting off date, and what was the point that they've made that you are reacting to? >> i was watching cnn the back rent, and he came on, mitt romney, and he started talking about how upset he was at how the president did not show leadership, and we should not be apologizing. i thought, wait a minute, wait, i am flipping channels between trying to figure out what is
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going on and then it came out that individuals had died. at the time mitt romney spoke, that was such a knee-jerk reaction that i do not know who gave him advice, but i felt you are not the president for me right now. >> ok, good. ann? >> that is not the only incident, but that was the most local incident that we had, where we have got to remember they might be candidates, but we want to see what they look like when they are presidential. >> that whole series of events me to lean away from obama, because the plane descend on a movie that has been out or six months, when this incident
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happened on 9/11, and obama is being apologetic about the video, that goes against being an america. we should not be apologizing for free speech or for the exercise of that. we should not be apologizing for our behavior. >> i want to hold you right there and then coming to you, raj, i want to hear from christina. we hear a lot of ideas and thought, and did this last week have any effect on your thinking, and as you hear this a round table, what is your reaction? >> i think the situation over there is so delicate that obama was correct in a waiting a second and being as close as he was in his statement before deciding which way to handle the situation. at the same time, it showed me that -- it reinforced the fact
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that mitt romney does not have foreign policy experience. i do not think the way he jumped in was necessarily appropriate and that he should have recognized the situation as still to bobbling, and some things are still so delicate over there that he should just wait. >> susan, let me get you into this discussion. there are different viewpoints around the table. what did you think of the last -- leaning? [laughter] i promised i would bring in an interesting group, so we are back not just nailed down. ok. tell me as you are listening to this and what you thought in the last week.
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what is going on? >> one of the first things i heard was that the president was apologizing for this film, and i was, like, you kidding me? i have a stepson in afghanistan right now, and all the news that comes out there is -- is why use the words? then i read a little bit more about the sequence of events, and it did not seem to be as ridiculous what mitt romney did -- depends on what you read, actually. it seemed like he was standing up for our country and there is no reason that you all should have done what you did over there in libya. it showed strength. >> it showed strength, sought out of last week you got a strength of running and that was good? you are with romney? >> i'm independent. leaning. this is the election season,
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the ins are different. we should keep in perspective that it was the embassy that put out something about which is the mouthpiece of the administration, so it reflects what the administration thinks. you cannot this about that. looking at that, they were wrong to do that. there should not be somebody tweeting on behalf of an embassy when such a sensitive situation has arisen. that could be considered inappropriate or may be wrong or a reflection on the administration. and the other hand, mitt romney may be came out too soon to say that, and you could say that was wrong. obama should not have apologized for this film on behalf of whoever made it, and
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romney should have waited to reflect on his comments, and what he said was not something disastrous. i do not see a black and white thing here. i think it is great, and it is a political season, and they would not be saying any of this if they were president. >> now everyone is worried about winning elections, and they are not thinking about what is right or wrong. what makes you look good. the timing, who said it, everything else, and that is what drives me crazy that you are not getting an honest picture out of anyone. >> anybody else want to add in? >> i think that is part of the problem, that is treating this as the election, and whereas when people die and people are killed in a terrorist attack, you have to put aside politics for a second.
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you cannot just speak out at the other end, and that is what bothered me more than anything, that you could not put it aside for one moment and just warner for the loss of people. >> nicely said. >> i never saw the president apologize. had there been an apology, i would have been offended. i never saw that. >> i think it was. >> i never saw an apology. >> but you were saying because it was from the embassy. voting for romney? he has your vote because? >> when the economy is down and
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all the things that happening now, the best thing to do is not to go to a politician who will say, it should go to a guy that turns around businesses. you need to cut the fat and sometimes people get laid off, it's things for this individual families, but you have to worry about the country as a whole, and when you do that, i think the country will benefit, and i think mitt romney as a better way of going about it because he has that business background. >> moving quickly because i want to catch up. i'm a little behind. that we ask anybody, as the selection or the position of vice president, either paul ryan or joe biden, at any effect on anybody here, and more positively or more negatively? a couple people, 4, 5, 6. >> with regard to romney and
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ryan, he is a numbers budget business guy like romney is, so that was a real plus. >> charles? >> on the matter of succession, it would scare the heck out of me to have biden as president. >> i am from delaware, so joe biden i grew up with, but the second part is paul ryan i have heard is the most conservative vice-presidential pick in history, even compared to the most liberal v.p. >> any effect on you? >> positively, paul ryan? >> i was the other way. i do not like pandering to a
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base, and i think ryan was a move to the base. >> everybody gets 10 seconds, even you, charlie. finish this sentence -- when it comes right to it, selection is about the -- >> economy. >> health care. >> economy. >> economy. >> egos. >> health care. >> economy. >> economics. >> economy. >> economics. >> is the biggest difference between the economy, in
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economics, jobs? what is the biggest difference between that two? >> romney's tax plan is better to create jobs and businesses, protecting both the big business to create more jobs and small businesses to support themselves without having to worry about the health care taxes. >> romney and ryan are more likely to take that hard choices of cutting the fat. >> romney and ryan make me more in the middle, because they are stronger on the economy. >> me, too, more in the middle,
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because of the economy. >> why? >> you look can mitt romney's success in business and economics, and the same with paul ryan, and they are number- crunchers. >> i think romney will make the economy -- will affect the economy from the private industries than poor, whereas obama will affect the economy from the government's standpoint. >> i feel like obama wants our country to be loved and romney wants our country to be respected. >> anybody else? >> i think we are going to be dictated a lot by outside forces that we have less control from. >> it is not up to them to make all the changes. >> anybody else? >> we are talking about the leader of one branch of government, of which there are three. the direction is not going to move tremendously in one direction or the other. >> if barack obama is elected, my single biggest concern is -- >> it will historically be the second term, nothing gets done. >> my biggest concern if obama
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is reelected is -- >> we will have to deal with obstruction in congress. >> my greatest concern? >> he will look like he did not do anything again. >> might greatest concern is? >> same thing, a stalemate with try to get things passed. >> they will have to have plan b to get things moving. >> i greatest concern, pamela, is? >> i am in agreement about the bottle making that seems to be going on. >> mary? >> more of the same.
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>> my greatest concern is we continue to focus on what is going on in washington, d.c., and not looking at the rest of the country. as a midwesterners, concerned about what i am seeing happening in those states. >> ok, and, charles, are you undecided or are you still leaning? your greatest concern about obama? >> there will not be any restraint on him. he has nothing to lose. >> let me change, if i can pick greatest concern about electing romney? >> lack of foreign-policy. >> gridlock in congress. >> i would agree about the lack of foreign policy.
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>> ben? >> nothing i can put my finger on right now. there are reservations but no great concern. >> pamela? greatest concern about romney? >> the foreign policy weakness. >> mary? >> the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. >> ann? >> that with all this cutting their to stunts seem to be anybody on the ticket that has sympathy for the rest of the country >> we have now covered the first seven minutes of my out line. the next part we really have to move on. let me move on, since this is a lightning and helpful. great job, thank you get, everyone picked a whole bunch
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of people, either national figures or state figures. i will ask you to go quickly, lightning round, i want a word or phrase to describe your feelings about somebody. if i say barbara bush, did not say former first lady, i want feelings, what you are thinking about each of these people, a word or phrase quickly. tim kaine? >> he took a pay cut. >> confidence. >> can do the job. >> i do not know enough about him. >> business. >> i have no opinion. >> held the democratic national committee job while he was governor. >> like bob mcdonnell. >> i will not vote for him
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again. i cannot express how disappointed i am. >> i do not agree with some of the things he has done. >> not fond of him at all. >> concerns me. >> useless. >> useless. >> bill clinton? >> barn-burning speeches. >> i like him. >> i like him. >> charismatic. >> arithmetic. >> entertaining. >> a winner. >> compromises. >> still got it. >> willing to work the other side. >> do it again. >> mitt romney?
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>> uppity. >> evasive. >> confident. >> stiff. >> strong. >> experienced. >> like a used-car salesman. >> businessmen. >> joe biden? >> good at making people feel at ease. >> good guy. >> good guy. >> kind of an idiot. >> liability. >> loose lips. >> emotional. >> michelle obama? >> down to earth.
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>> smart. >> role model. >> strong. >> role model to women. >> a liability. >> strong. >> asset. >> asset. >> hopeful. >> george allen? >> for that. >> confident. >> 0. >> loser. >> squandered. >> joke. >> do not like him. >> no opinion. >> barack obama? >> overly confident. >> passionate. >> strong. >> unrealistic. >> arrogant. >> unrealistic. >> hollow. >> getting there. >> respected.
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>> good talker. >> who said hollow? >> he speaks a good thing, but i want to see the action behind it. he had the entire congress behind him for two years, at what happened he had it. >> good communicator. >> paul ryan? >> needs to get his facts straight. >> pathological liar. >> smart. >> partisan. >> smart. >> good debater. >> math guy. >> smart. >> almost embarrassing to say we graduated from the same college.
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>> ann romney? >> too impressionable. >> a fighter. >> supportive. >> strong. >> survivor. >> no opinion. >> survivor. >> respecter. >> perfect wife. >> not a stepford wife. >> good. i will start with that from mary. if you were a relative, if he were a relative in your family, any relative that you can think of, who is mitt romney has a relative in your family? who is that romney, mary?
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what position? >> i do not know. >> brother. >> local. >> why? >> a lot of talk and just listen. >> he tells stories all the time. you listen but did not believe everything. >> he is the creepuncle you did not want to hang out with. >> who is he? >> my dad, because he is a little aloof, but smart. >> ok, christina?
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>> cousin, removed, and you hear about him, but he is not a major part of your life. >> he reminds me of my neice. >> my dad, willing to try it out, and not the best communicator, but he has done it and you know he will do it again if given the chance. i'm just like my dad. just as far as the business sense and ideas about what he wants to do and have a good heart, i am not sure he always says what he should, but he is my dad. >> and that is a sense of forgiveness that you have towards him or a sense of -- is it a sense of what?
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>> it keeps me there, but do i want my dad as the president? [laughter] it would be great. >> we have a couch. >> mitt romney is like my rich uncle. the man who sent you cards and money but he never comes to your parties. >> i would say an uncle. maybe one that is more connected. >> i would say like a in-law parent. distant, not quite -- he does not come to the barbecue. >> a brother. >> because? >> i have a lot of respect for my mother -- my brother. >> who is he? >> a professor.
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>> a member of your family? >> a member of my family or relative. the cousin i have out west to his teaching in law school. -- who is teaching in law school. >> i do not see often but i know he is well-liked. -- a cousin i do not see often. >> who is he? >> the nice guy around the corner you can hang out with. >> not a member of the family? >> not enough time for them. >> a cousin who does not also come to the barbecue. >> like a step dead. he has the best intentions and tries to get things done for you but cannot always do it. >> a distant cousin, probably related to the rich uncle.
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>> like a cousin or an uncle that no one really agrees with. >> an uncle. >> because? >> we can hang out and do things. and have fun with our kids and all that. >> to you what your brother as president? -- do you want your brother as president? we will make sure we do not report either of you. let me try this. you can leaves -- use the list. it have been charged -- you have been charged unjustly and you have one person to negotiate
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for you. who do you want? one person on this list to negotiate for you. you have been unjustly charged on something. who do you want? >> bill clinton. >> why do you what bill clinton? >> he can do it. >> he knows. he knows to compromise. >> he is so smooth and so smart now. >> he has modeled it himself. he can get you out of anything. >> i will take this as more of a -- look at the whole list here again. who is the one person you do not want to cross to have them angry at you?
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who is the one person you would say, i do not want that person angry at me. take a look. who is the one person i do not want on the other side angry at me? write it down. everybody right down somebody? what did you write down? >> michelle obama. >> harmony wrote down -- how many rode down michelle obama? half the group. why? >> her husband has got an army. >> she speaks with fire in her eyes. >> she would be a scary lady when she is mad. >> i would put paul ryan. >> i put michelle obama. i do not think it would take a lot to make her mad if you made her mad. >> see what she did to oprah. >> who do you want to mediate an argument between you and your spouse? who do you want to mediate
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between you and your spouse fax -- your spouse? an argument? >> you can we choose? -- who can we choose? >> clinton? how many said ann romney? >> she has a lot of familial experience. >> bill clinton. >> ann romney. >> she has a lot of >> bill clinton. >> ann romney. >> she has a lot of experience and has been successful. >> let me try this. saturday afternoon, mitt romney has two free hours. no campaign, no anything. what do you think he is doing? with his two free hours?
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nothing. he has two free hours to himself. what is he doing? >> she is reviewing his investments. -- he is reviewing his investment. >> business related. what else. >> he is praying. >> i think he is getting whoever is at the house together and have some kind of competition. >> something competitive. what else? >> he is reviewing clips of his past performances of the previous week. >> that makes it all political. i am trying to see if there's anything else you think he is doing with two free hours? >> rating. -- reading a historical novel. >> getting the grandkids if they are around in the kitchen area. >> let's turn around.
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barack obama has two free hours on saturday afternoon. what is happening? >> golfing. >> he is with his daughters. several people say yes. >> watching tv, sports, with his daughters. bling basketball. what else? >> taking mashal out to a movie -- michelle @ tomah euille -- to a movie? >> to ben's chili bowl. >> ok. here is an idea. see what comes to your mind. sunday dinner, ann happens to be away. mitt is going to invite four people over to dinner. who was coming over for dinner? it cannot be anyone related to the campaign or the vice
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presidential candidate. who do you think he'll have to dinner. right down and you have one idea that is good or several ideas. who do you think is coming to dinner? who is he asking to dinner? ok. >> neighbors. >> who else? >> cnn reporters. >> sons and grandson's. kids. >> anybody else? secretary of the treasury and some of the senate leaders. >> anybody else? ceo of something. >> ok. >> same sunday evening. michelle and the kids are gone. barack obama can have dinner with four people. who was having -- who is he
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having dinner with? >> not netanyahu. [laughter] >> anybody else? everybody got an idea? >> biden. >> no campaign, no vice- presidential. who is coming? >> for your nba players -- four nba players. >> four of his friend from chicago he has not had a beer with in a while. >> who is coming? >> the same ideal. lebron james. the nba. >> his daughters. >> mary? >> motherlode -- mother-in-law.
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>> you read way too much. anybody else have any thing? >> academics and small business. >> ok. let me switch. that is good. great job. let me switch if i could. and ask you what are the qualities you most admire about mitt romney? >> discipline. >> he seems poised and unflappable. >> work ethic. it seems like he has a strong work ethic. >> what else? >> business acumen. what else you -- do you respect? >> he has a history of working with [inaudible] >> experience and ethics.
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>> good. ok, good. ok. and, finish this sentence. here is what bugs me about mitt romney. here is what really bugs me about mitt romney. will go around the table. here is what really bugs me about mitt romney. >> indecisive. >> he speaks before he thinks. >> the opposite. he is to reserved. -- too reserved. >> he is an opportunist. >> stiff. >> he's been a professional campaigner but he is not very good at it. >> and ability to clearly communicate. -- inability to clearly communicate. and stiff. >> very wealthy.
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>> dan. i could keep going around. if you could give mitt romney one quality, from a former republican president, reagan, bush 41, bush 43, what quality would you want to give him? if you could give him one quality? i will go round. one quality, everyone wrote -- write it down so you can know. and for the camera, i will start with raj and go counterclockwise. >> leadership.
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>> if you could take one call the from of former president. -- one quality from a former president. >> humanity of george w. bush. >> less government. of bush the first. >> the straight talker of ronald reagan. >> bush no. 2's flexibility. >> reagan's ability to light a fire under the people of the united states. >> the ability to make himself look newble. >> rec and's ability to be a perceived forced to be -- reagan's ability to be perceived as a force to be reckoned with. >> the ability to persevere. >> there are ten qualities from reagan i would like to assign to him.
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consistency. >> bush's shoot from the hip to give him less stiffness. >> and tell me something. if you could have -- get him to answer one question that would help you feel more confident about voting, what is the question you would want to ask mitt romney? let me get some of the others. what you -- what would you want to tell from mitt romney that would help you, maybe i could support him? >> i would like to see something that resembles a business plan. >> that he has a backup plan.
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just to do something but cannot get it passed congress, how're you going to do it? >> >> i would like to know his details on his tax reform plan. >> i am with her on that one. that see a plan and how they think is going to work. >> same thing. the plan but how he will grow the economy. >> i would like to hear the plan as well specifically from him. >> ok, good. >> how does he plan to get anyone in the country to like him?
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>> with everyone else, a plan. a plan on taxes, the economy. >> without a plan that you can see, what is your concern? because you have not seen the plan so far. what concerns you? why is this so critical for you? >> should he be reelected? >> it seems to me there were several people who talk about i want to see his plan and i want to know why is this so critical to you? why do you care? >> i feel that his record speaks for itself and we can compare the record of the last four years and that is one view. the other view is it would be nice if he can tease out a plan and it will happen by the second debate. that you have a better picture of his plan. >> >> i am trying to get the people who say any to say a plan. -- see a plan. >> he claims to be a
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businessman. you make a plan, create a plan, plans change but at least things move forward or in direction once it is put into place. >> others? >> nothing but a big corporation for big business. you can go to the bank and ask for money without any kind of business plan. how can you get it done? >> anybody else? >> to follow with that. a would like to see the plan so we can make a decision if that is the plan we want to follow. what is the alternative? let me know, let me make an honest decision based on what i see. >> i wonder if paul ryan will be the one who will be in charge of the whole changing the medicine, the medicare part. romney has had the experience as a governor in massachusetts with trying to do something
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with medical insurance. >> does that concern you? yes. i would like to see him more involved instead of having paul ryan out there all the time. >> i am hoping to bring up a couple of didi's so we can look at some statements. one other thing.
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give me three adjectives that describe barack obama. >> inspiring. smart. overconfident. >> strong. >> overconfident. >> cool, smart, overconfident. >> let me turn -- have us look at a couple of clips if we could and i start with ann
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romney. each from their convention speech. watch and give me a quick reaction after you have seen it. >> if you use the arrows. >> i read somewhere that i had a storybook marriage. let me tell you, in the store books i read, there were never long rainy afternoon in the house with five boys screaming at once and they never seem to have a chapter called "ms or breast cancer." what we have is a real marriage.
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[applause] i know the good and decent man for what he is. he is warm and loving and patient. he has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on faith and love of one's fellow man. i have seen him spend countless hours helping others. i have seen him drop everything to help a friend in trouble and then there when late-night calls come from a member of our church whose child is in a hospital. you may not agree with his positions are politics. massachusetts is 13% republican so it is not like it is a shock to me. [laughter]
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let me say this to every american who is thinking about who should be our next president. no one will work harder. no one will care more, and no one will [inaudible] to make this country a better place to live. >> she wants us to love him. >> your impression? >> of her. >> elegant and well spoken. a perfect first lady. >> she is an incredible woman and to raise that many boys, i can only imagine. i think that she speaks the truth, all the wonderful thing she says about him. >> dedicated asset. >> she loves her husband and her family. that is obvious.
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>> and feels that he has what it takes. >> how does she add to your impressions about mitt romney? >> makes him seem more human. >> adds an element of reality. >> she is an asset. >> a real person, not a robot. >> she sees something that we have yet to see. >> she is more private. hard for him to open up in public. >> anybody else? i also have a clip of mitt romney and i will have us look at that now. >> i am running for president to help create a better future.
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a future where everyone who wants a job can find a job. where no senior fears for the security of their retirement and america -- an america where every parent knows their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon. i have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. [applause] paul ryan and i have 5 steps. by 2020, north america will be energy independence by taking full a bandage of -- advantage of our oil and gas and [inaudible] [applause]
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we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. when it comes to the school that your child will attend, every parent should have a choice and every child will have a chance. we will made trade work for america. and when nations cheat at trade, there will be unmistakeable consequences. and fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in america will not vanish as has those in greece. we will cut the deficit and put america on track to a balanced budget. [cheers and applause]
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we will champion small businesses, america's engine of job growth. reducing taxes on business, not raising them. it means modernizing the regulations that hurts small business and we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of health care by repealing and replacing obamacare. president obama promised to begin the rise of the oceans. -- slow the rise of the oceans. [applause] and to heal the planet. my promise is to help you and
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your family. >> ok. reaction. what do you think, what was your thought, he talked about different ideas. what do you think about that? >> it sounds all good, but it's just -- it is all talk. nothing about how he will get it done. >> what did you think? >> how are you going to do that? to some of his points. >> what did you think as you watched? >> been a geologist and working in the oil industry, the first point sets things up and if you do take back the regulations, all the other steps easily fall into place. making us independent will be the greatest thing for the country and he is the one that is pushing back. all the other things fall into place.
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>> what do you think as you saw this? >> for every one of the points he made, i felt like there was a subtext. someone will get richer and it will trickle down to you. >> what did you think? >> i want someone getting richer because it does trickle down. i agree with ben. under obama, the epa has put some money roadblocks on the economy. if you get rid of some of those roadblocks, the economy would do better. >> what did you think? >> i like he did not promise to balance the budget. he said on track to balancing the budget so that is a bit more realistic. >> did you feel more solidity toward romney? you felt you were leaning? does this make you feel closer
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or i am still in the same place. >> it justifies where he is. meaning far over. >> what do you think? >> i hate that 12 million jobs. some of the things were going on nicely but 12 million bits seems like -- i know we need 12 million. how is he going to do that? i understand there are lots of ways but it seems like such -- >> dave. >> i want to see the jobs first. that has been my biggest complaint. you have the jobs cut on the forefront. the thing that always sticks with me is education -- the education plan and i do support that choice. the current president supports it. it is not a big deal anymore. those are the things that stuck out to me. >> anybody else? >> trade agreements. >> what is this man going to do about china? >> i have not heard him say that
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once. >> this man meeting -- >> brahney. -- romney. >> he was not speaking to me. >> let me turn and do barack obama. three adjectives to describe him. give me an adjective.
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>> school. >> cool. >> airtran. >> why? >> the way he has his presence and he is a great speaker. he is so convincing but when you see that things have not happened, it is a feeling i get. he can say it and glasshoff that we're going to believe. it seems arrogant. >> i would say strong. >> overconfident and it has to do with mary's comment. very well said. great intent. >> too radical but not practical. >> inspiring but more on coal. -- cool. >> his cool -- where does this leave you as you think about him in his reelection? >> that is what has me thinking that i am not as in favor of him as i was. it is leaving me disappointed. i am not just single out, want to see. >> the outcome is what? >> more jobs. the economy improving at a quicker rate that and has. -- than it has?
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>> where does that leave pamela? >> as far as my vote? >> i am trying to understand. >> i do not believe a man in that position can get much done in four years and there is a part of me that still wants to give him a chance because i think he had some great ideas and because of his confidence, i was hoping against all hope. he is a relatively young and new in the game, romney is not. in four years he might get the hang of it. >> a very good talker and i
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voted for him. he has not accomplished what he said he was going to. that is why i am undecided. >> he talks a good game, but he is hesitant in action. >> biggest accomplishment, write it down. first four years. we will start with ben. 10 seconds each. >> health care. >> i need more time. >> health care. >> getting people involved. >> bin laden.
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>> bin laden. >> health care. >> bin laden. >> health care. >> health care is the biggest accomplishment. how many say i see that as a positive accomplishment? and it is a big accomplishment because? >> uninsured. that is a big one. to get that done. however he got it done, it is a big deal. >> children are able to be insured logger when they are in college. >> he let the secretary of defense not have that kind of coverage for military children for a number of months, almost a year.
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>> any healthcare? >> i think it was a big deal as far as accomplishment. i cannot get my head around what it means. >> biggest disappointment. >> the economy. like of direction. >> health care again. >> the debt ceiling. >> unemployment. >> the deficit. >> the economy. >> tell me one thing. finish the sentence. here is what really bugs me about barack obama. >> there are so many things.
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his arrogance. friendly but not arrogant. >> he flicks the badass switch twice a year. >> the resources heat through to the unions. >> his hesitancy about things like a tree when he did not show up for more than two weeks. -- katrina. >> washington is more partisan now than before. >> i am in 100% with carlina, they were not able to come to an agreement. >> his inexperience. >> the stimulus going to the places that it did. >> scary future if he gets elected.
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>> anybody want to give him a quality from a former president? >> lyndon johnson, i would make him a politician. >> get something passed. >> skills regulation. >> sam rayburn. >> he [inaudible] >> anybody else? thank you. let's see if we can get up the -- system. we will need robert's fine hand to make this work.
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great system but it needs a little help. >> i read somewhere that i have a storybook marriage. >> could we go back to the menu? we will go to michelle. we will first hear from michelle. >> barack knows the american dream because he has lived it. and he wants everyone in this country, everyone to have the
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same opportunity matter who we are or where we are from or what we look like or how we love. [cheers and applause] and he believes that when you work hard and have done well, and walk through that doorway of opportunity, if you do not slum it shut behind you. you reach back and you give other folks the same chances for help that you received. [cheers and applause] when people ask me whether being in the white house has changed my husband, i can honestly say that when it comes
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to his character and his convictions and his heart, barack obama is still the same man i fell in love with all those years ago. he is the same man who started his career by turning down high-paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where the steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get those back to work because for barack obama, expensive -- expense is not about how much money you make, it is the difference to make in people's lives. >> reaction. dave? >> just as far as what she was talking about what he did after graduation, that strikes home. that means a lot to me. but it is not necessarily -- i do not know how much school that he has as opposed to the
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other people that things sticks with me. >> she is relatable. the fact they have had hard times and he has had to work his way up and was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. and the commitment and dedication she has is a plus. >> polish. >> any other feeling? >> she is not telling us why we should vote for him and she reminded me of the fact i had not thought about it but hearing that reminds me of the fact he has never had a job. >> i have heard it before and it seemed very similar to 2008 but it does not have the same effect on me that it did back then. >> i felt like both conventions were political infomercials. >> infomercial. i did not watch.
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>> aj, what did you think? >> there was no denying the connection she had with the crowd. >> i felt like i whether it is one degree of separation i feel like she is someone i would know personally. >> ok, let me have you watched part of barack obama's speech. >> when all is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. over the next few years, big decisions will be made in washington on jobs, the economy, taxes, and deficits, energy, education, war and peace. decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children's lives for decades to
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come. and on every issue, the choice you face will not just be between two candidates or two parties, it will be a choice between two different paths for america. a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future. ours is a fight to restore the values that builds the largest middle-class and the strongest economy the world has ever known. [applause] the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in patton's army, the values that drew my grandmother on -- to work on the bomber assembly line when he was gone. they knew they were part of something larger, a nation that tramped over fascism and depression, were the most innovative businesses turned out the world's best products, and everyone shared in that pride and success from the corner office to the factory floor.
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my grandparents were given the chance to go to college, to buy their own home, and fulfil the basic bargain at the heart of america's story. the promise that hard work will pay off. the responsibility will be rewarded and everyone gets a fair shot. everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules from main street to wall street, to washington, d.c. >> ok. let me ask your reaction to that. >> he said a lot of things everyone agrees with. it was not saying this is what i think. it is in general so you are like, i agree 85% of the time. it is what it comes to my personal -- the romney would do a better job with what you're talking about. -- mitt romney would do a better job with what you are talking about. if you wanted to vote for him,
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it would make you want to vote for him more but if you are leaning toward mitt romney, it pushes you more toward mitt romney. >> pamela. you are not leaning one way or another. >> he is right about the issues and the categories and it will be a difficult choice because there is a lot we have to fix. but, you know, everyone gets a fair shot at a fair share. life is not fair. across the board, it is just not fair. there again, he is overconfident and unrealistic. it gives me the creeps. >> that was the past. what about tomorrow? >> what do you need to hear from him about tomorrow? >> what is our plan? we're in a quagmire. how're we going to get out of this?
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>> what i would like to hear, one candidate, i do not care what party they are from say, i do not know what to do and why it don't you help me? help me figure it out. let's get the people involved again. let's hear what you have to say. that is why i am loving this event. >> i felt the speech there was a level of humility there. it was as almost -- begging would be too harsh. he was trying to talk to me about, i know you were enthusiastic the first time, would you do it again? i was not sure again, if he can complete the plan as he presented it. >> there tw -- are two things. the idea that he pulled himself about of nothing and he was raised by single mother and all this. he did have a single mother but
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he went to the best schools the nation has to offer. he went to columbia, harvard. he is not everyone -- like everyone else and this idea that he has come up from the bottom. no. he had supported people behind him the whole way who put him through the best way possible. and the second thing is his inability to compromise or to work with people. i said lbj because lbj did the great society and was able to talk to people and convince people, you may have grown up this way but that is not fair. it is not fair that you get great schooling in this person does not. he found a way to get people to get on board. he has not been able to do that yet. it bothers me. >> communistic. everyone needs to have everything equal. everyone gets everything. >> that is not right.
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>> some people work for their grades, other people flowed along. life is like that. and to see that everyone deserves the same is not right. >> what did you think? >> i thought his speech was ok. it had a hard time living up to the one that took place the night before. and you definitely get the sense that there was a shadow he was trying to step out of there. but i also just to touch on an earlier point, it is difficult to reach across the aisle when every time you tried to reach across, it gets bitten by a pit bull. that has been what has happened over the last four years. >> let me hear from christine and married. >> i was disappointed by his use of the word "ours." i do not like the idea of us versus them.
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it was similar to what he did in 2008 but this time my eyes were open more wide. it was nothing concrete. >> i wanted to be inside but was not -- excited because i was not. it felt like i wanted to say, where's the beef? there is something missing here. >> anybody else? i have a couple of other things that want to discuss. one thing i have heard, the whole question of medicare. redoing medicare. is that good or bad, does it make any difference? is this an opportunity or something that would be a challenge?
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anybody have any feelings? >> something has got to be done, regardless. to be put on the right track. >> we need to have the same thing that most people here will be entitled to. there does need to be a change that does not take away things like for my parents who are banking on social security but we cannot live in a false reality that i will be able to get it. it needs to be something, what is. >> the years need to be adjusted. 65 cannot be the golden goose. we live a lot longer. >> as i understand it, does anybody know about the plan that mitt romney and paul ryan are expressing? >> i wish i did. >> they were saying there would raise the social security age to 75 but --
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>> does anybody have any idea about the medicare program about romney-ryan, the details have been limited. >> money will be assigned to states and the states will do what they think is best for their state. >> it sounds to me like -- >> i am 60 and it will not affect my generation. these changes are going to affect future generations. >> anyone under the age of 55 will be affected. >> when they talked about changing things before, they said they looked at 20-40 -- at 2040. and the politics came out, they will take away grandma's nest egg.
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>> from what i understand, friends have a problem dock -- finding doctors that will see them. with a voucher, the doctors -- the like money. there is no voucher. if you say you are on medicare, they do not have room for you. i have a friend who had to visit six different doctors to get an appointment. >> any discomfort -- how many say i do not know enough to have an opinion? that is basically everyone around the room. that is interesting. how about obamacare? does anyone have any sense of how a president romney would handle it and how it would change? how many say i do not now? -- not know?
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>> i know bits and pieces but my whole thing is, there is this issue about pre-existing conditions. when i lost my job, i was able to pay into -- our company had less than 50 employees. for three months, i was allowed to pay the cover price and health insurance privacy protection act allows you to go out and look for your own insurance and pay for it yourself but because i had a pre-existing condition, the policy that i was going to go into had a $3,000 deductible and it was $600 a month. because hippa allows you to have this pre-existing condition and get insurance, it did not see anything about having to pay $10,000. it is a gamble.
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i am trying to figure out if this new particular -- how that is going to affect people who do have pre-existing conditions, is there going to be a price difference? the internet says it is not. it will be a flat line price. i would like to see it in action. >> here is what fascinates me. you have done great, a marvelous job tonight. i think you so much but here is what fascinates me. you want a plan and yet i would have to say at this moment, a lot of this is not coming through to you. you do not have any sense necessarily what president obama wants to do or what governor romney wants to do. is that true? >> true. >> you have a debate coming up very soon. what do you want to hear from them? what do they have to tell you?
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pamela, i am president obama. i am dying for your vote. charlie, i am governor romney, i am dying for your vote. mary, i am both candidates. you were saying you were genuinely undecided. you seem fairly committed. aj's committed toward president obama. i think you're, also. -- you are, also, you talk about where you are at interposition in life and you talked about this debate coming up and your disappointments with president obama and your uncertainties about mitt romney. how do you decide what you need to hear in this debate? that is what it is about. what do you need to hear?
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>> i cannot answer what you're asking me to do. i am hoping which is probably really stupid on my part that somebody is going to pull something incredible out of the air that no one has thought about before and we're all going to go, yes. it is totally unrealistic. >> as long as you admit it. and so, given your situation where you're at, what will help you decide? clearly, there are things about mitt romney you do not like, there are things about barack obama that you are not happy with. there are things that make them each interesting. how do you decide? >> it is going to be emotional, i can tell you that. you're asking me what they're going to say to me. instead of being an emotional feeling based on something they
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say that rings true with regard to humanity, the struggles, a realistic opinion about what it is, we as americans as a whole need to achieve. i can -- tend to want to hear about global foreign policy because again, it is not just us here in the united states. i want to hear something -- obama has had this much experience. that is why i want to know who their visors work. that would influence my vote tremendously. >> mary, you have been terribly supportive and terribly critical and terribly realistic also. >> i want some answers and i realize in the debate, it is not reasonable to think that you are going to get a plan. i also feel like if there is some structure with how you're
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going to do this, what is going to look like and how are you going to put it together? it is very worrisome. obama cannot get people to work with him. romney has a piece that is essential with his strong business background so to get the economy moving forward, what are you going to do? >> when i watched both the conventions, when i watched the first one, was all for mitt romney. it is just hard. hard to decide.
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i know it is important. >> you're going to get one of them. >> the one thing that has not come up is women's health and women's rights. >> who do you think will be better on women's health and women's rights, just instinctively? >> obama. >> does that make a difference to you? >> yes. one part of it. >> here you are with these marvelous observations and we have sam rayburn floating in here. tell me where your at and what is the -- you are at and what is the point at which you come out on all this. >> at the debate i would like to see how well they talk on their feet. without stumbling over a number of things. let's not have someone say, i knew jack kennedy and your not him. let's have them be prepared with some rudimentary concrete
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plans. and give us an inkling of where they would like the country to go and how they think they might be able to do it. >> >> who did you vote for four years ago? >> john mccain. >> what about this time around? >> i am interested because i think we are in such a quagmire. i am interested in hearing what both sides have to say, especially if we can get down to the nitty gritty. >> what about those who would say it is time to stay with obama versus going with mitt romney? >> i would like to see them
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reform the department of education, the epa, and i would really take a look at some of the laws on the books that are outdated or religious put out so someone can make a lot of money -- or really put out so someone can make a lot of money. good >> i have listened to you for two hours. you can say you are undecided, but i have only heard one side, so why won't romney get your vote? >> i am leaning more towards romney, i guess, and part of it is from what i saw on the tv. based on what some of the people are saying, i am leaning a little towards romney, and i think it is because i feel trephine -- trick by obama.
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i voted for him. i believe in him. i thought he had a great platform, but he has not accomplish that much. good obamacare, i am very much hurt for universal health care, but i feel tricked. it is more of a tax, and one area i feel tricked on is he said he does not want to raise taxes for people who make less than $250,000. i make a lot less than $250,000, and i am paying a lot more in taxes. they are taking money out of my pocket. the value of the dollar goes down and the price of gasoline goes up. that is basic economics, and to me that is a tax. >> i am going to go around the table for final comments. thank you very much.
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it is important to note their work, and it is so eliminating and so helpful, and i can feel everything you are going through, and i am equally fascinated. pamela, i can hear the struggle where you are, and each of you are a rising at this in a fascinating way, but my final question is going to be that you can deliver one message, and do not say, give me a plan. i got it. there is one thing you would like to be able to deliver, and as i mentioned, the media is watching all this. any message you say this is what i would like the candidates to know as they go into the final month and a half.
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i will start with ben. what is the message? >> the job creation is the most important thing going for the country right now. >> you feel you know what mitt romney is going to do for job creation? >> i think his plan really shows where he is aiming. >> i want to hear that he cares about his generation and my younger sons generation. i want to hear they are thinking forward and care about what these people are going to have to deal with when they are my age. >> the you feel one of the candidate speaks to you better, that understands where you are and where your kids are act? >> i would have to say romney. >> romney becomes closer to me because? >> he seems more realistic. >> he seems more realistic.